The Congress has come to be embroiled in a controversy over yet another defence deal - something that has come to light following Republic TV accessing documents related to erstwhile UK-listed company Backops Limited in which party president Rahul Gandhi was secretary, director and major shareholder.
On the topic of the raging controversy over his citizenship, with Backops Limited's filings stating clearly that Rahul Gandhi was listed as being a British national, the documents had also revealed the identity of the co-stakeholder in the company - an American national named Ulrik Mcknight who owned the remaining 35% of the company - who went on to join a company after the winding up of Backops that received offset contracts in India's Scorpene-class submarine acquisition deal.
In 2011, India signed a defence deal with French company DCNS (now Naval Group) for six Scorpene-class submarines. Subsequently, in the same year, DCNS signed an offset deal with Flash Forge India Pvt Ltd.
In 2011, Flash Forge, the offset partner of DCNS merged with Optical Armour Ltd - a U.K based company in which just a year later Ulrik Mcknight became a Director. A year later, in 2013, Mcknight also became a Director of Composite Resin Developments Limited, the same year that it was also acquired by Flash Forge. In 2014, Optical Armour alloted McKnight 4.9% shares in the firm as per the filings by the company.
Document pertaining to Mcknight being made Director of Optical Armour Ltd in 2012:
Document pertaining to Mcknight being made Director of Composite Resin Development Ltd in 2013:
Here is a graphic showing Gandhi's connection to the Scorpene-class submarine deal:
Moreover, in 2016, there was a controversy about the Scorpene-class submarine deal after sensitive information of the deal was published in an Australian newspaper, following which DCNS and its other partners came under the scanner of the Ministry of Defence.
BJP party president Amit Shah hit out at the Congress over the matter saying:
"With Rahul Gandhi’s Midas Touch, no deal is too much! When he has a say, his business partners make hay. Doesn’t matter if India suffers on the way!"
The Congress, however, has dismissed the charges, calling it an election gimmick:
"If such a thing has happened, why didn't the BJP do an investigation in 5 years? These are just election gimmicks."
When questioned about the link, Rahul Gandhi while addressing a media briefing at the Congress headquarters, said, "Please undertake any investigation you want, do any inquiry you want, I am ready as I know I have not done anything wrong, but please also investigate the Rafale deal."
The Prime Minister has repeatedly hit out at the Congress over the modus-operandi of their defence dealings, from Bofors to Agusta Westland. 'Land, air, sea - the Congress has left no avenue untouched when it comes to sweetening its pot in defence transactions', PM Modi has said.