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Youth Congress stages protest against Modi govt's Rafale deal in Delhi

Indian Youth Congress leaders from various parts of the country gathered for the march and questioned the government over the fairness of the deal.

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Hundreds of Youth Congress workers took to streets in Delhi on Thursday to protest against the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, dubbing it as the "biggest scam" which, they said, should be probed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

The Congress has alleged that the BJP-led government was procuring each Rafale fighter at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore against Rs 526 crore finalised by the previous UPA government. The BJP has said the deal signed by the NDA government was on better terms than the one agreed to in 2007.

Upping the ante against the Centre, Indian Youth Congress leaders from various parts of the country gathered for the march and questioned the government over the fairness of the deal.

Amid heavy police deployment, protestors began their march from All India Congress Committee headquarters on Akbar Road, raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Hitting out at Modi, senior Congress leader RPN Singh sought to know the cost of each Rafale fighter aircraft.

"The prime minister should come forward and tell the country about the cost of Rafale deal... The time has come to seek answers from the BJP-led central government," Singh said.

"With this protest march, the prime minister and BJP will know the power of country's youth," Singh said in his address to IYC workers before the march began.

IYC president Keshav Chand Yadav termed the deal the "biggest scam".

"Why is the central government not forming Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the deal?" Yadav asked.

In view of the march, heavy police deployment was in place near the Congress headquarters on Akbar Road. Police barricaded the area to stop protestors from marching towards the prime minister's residence.

Around 50 workers were detained and taken to Mandir Marg and Tughlak Road police stations.

The Congress appears to have decided to intensify its campaign against the Rafale deal which, the party claimed, was altered to benefit Prime Minister Modi's industrialist "friend" and "promote crony capitalism".

The Congress has lined up a series of programmes to take the issue to people and "expose" the government ahead of next year's parliamentary election.

Earlier in the day, Congress president Rahul Gandhi also targeted the Centre, telling Finance Minister Arun Jaitley about the wait of "Young India" for a decision on a joint parliamentary committee on the deal.

The Congress is undertaking a pan-India campaign to "apprise people" on the deal.

Party leaders are fanning out across the country, holding press conferences which will be followed by plans for district and state-level agitations on the issue. 

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