Video vs video as Congress, BJP slug it out over Rafale deal

A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party took aim at the Opposition’s criticism of the Modi government’s Rafale deal with a video explainer featuring actor Pallavi Joshi, the Congress has hit back with a video that mimics the BJP video. The BJP video explained how the so-called Rafale scam isn’t a scam, the Congress video does the opposite.

The Congress video, like the BJP’s, features a woman delivering a monologue. The woman, like Pallavi Joshi in the BJP video, uses an example of a housing society signing on a French company to replace the building’s security system.

The woman explains how as the secretary of her housing society association she signed a “well-thought out” deal with a French company to replace all the old locks of her building.

In order to ensure that the country benefitted from the deal, the woman says, the deal had a provision mandating that the French firm tie up with an Indian government company that has experience in producing locks.

But then, the building’s “chowkidaar” said he would take up the responsibility of everyone’s safety and got in touch with the French company to negotiate a different deal, the woman continues.

Under the new deal a friend of the chowkidaar’s “who makes really good pakodas” would get to even make the keys for the locks, the woman says. “What’s more is that chowkidaarji massively cut down the number of locks to be bought under the deal… and, it later turned out that his friend had no previous experience making keys.”

“And, when we asked about the deal’s price, chowkidaarji told us that it is a secret… But when we spoke to the French company we found that the deal’s price was three times what we had negotiated,” the woman says. “And that is the Rafale deal — a well-thought out scam.”

The video is replete with potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In case you missed the subtle hints, here’s a quick guide to how the example in the video compares to real life:

Old locks = Old Indian Air Force aircraft

French company = Dassault, whose Rafale aircraft the Modi government is procuring

The Indian Air Force is facing a shotfall of aircraft (Reuters file photo of a Rafale aircraft)

Chowkidaar = PM Narendra Modi

Pakoda maker = Anil Ambani, whose Reliance Defence has signed a joint venture with Dassault

A VIDEO WAR

The Congress, while releasing its video, has thrown down the gauntlet, telling that the BJP that “mitrogen” is getting to the party’s head.

The BJP response to the Congress’s fresh attack is awaited. But, the ruling party already seems to have opened a new front against Rahul Gandhi’s party.

The party tweeted a fresh video today compiling four instances of Rahul Gandhi talking about the cost of the Rafale aircraft under the deal signed by the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.

The kicker is that in those four instances, Gandhi is heard mentioning three different price points. Will the Congress respond to this? That remains to be seen.

Oh and just in case you missed the original BJP video that sparked this video war in the first place, here’s a recap:

Special Report | The Rafale dogfight

EXCLUSIVE | What Macron told India Today on Rafale deal

Updated: August 14, 2018 — 3:33 pm