Surat couple’s defence of Rafale deal in wedding invitation catches PM Modi’s eye

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Published: January 23, 2019 2:32:36 PM

A couple from Modi's home state, Gujarat, has earned praise from the Prime Minister for dedicating a page in their wedding invitation card justifying the Rafale deal.

Yuvraj Pokharna and bride-to-be Sakshi Agrawal, tied the knot on January 22. (Twitter/Yuvraj Pokharna )

A unique endorsement of the government’s much criticised Rafale jets deal with France has caught the eye of none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At a time when opposition parties have upped the ante against the government alleging corruption in pricing of the fighter jets, a couple from Modi’s home state Gujarat earned praise from the Prime Minister

A couple from Modi’s home state, Gujarat, has earned praise from the Prime Minister for dedicating a page in their wedding invitation card justifying the Rafale deal. The couple, Yuvraj Pokharna and bride-to-be Sakshi Agrawal, tied the knot on January 22. They received a letter from PM Modi, who described the content of the card as “ingenious” and asserted that it had inspired him to work even harder for the country.

Pokharna said that he received PM Modi’s letter on January 17 through an e-mail. The letter was addressed to his mother Babita Prakash Pokharna. “Heartiest Congratulations to Pokharna family on the joyous occasion of the marriage of Yuvraj and Sakshi. I noticed a unique feature of the marriage invitation card sent to the guests,” reads the letter signed by Modi.

Pokharna expressed his happiness and said that he was surprised to know that the PM gives so much importance to a common man like him and added that he hopes that the content of the card would clear people’s doubt about the deal. His fiancee, Sakshi, said their intention was to make women, especially housewives, aware of the deal in which the opposition Congress has alleged irregularities, a charge stoutly denied by the government.

“Congress keeps citing Rs 1.30 lakh crores (the amount of favour). Now it was UPA which decided in 2005 that offset partners in India must get 30-50 percent of total work. Since the total deal is Rs 58,000 crores, it would amount to Rs 29,000 crores. Dassault has said the business (to Reliance) comes to only 3-4 percent, or only around Rs 800 crores over 10 years. How the figure of Rs 1.30 lakh is cited when the entire deal is only Rs 58,000 crores?” reads one of the points on the invitation card justifying the NDA governments deal.

The full-page invitation card, which has 9 points claiming to be the facts about the deal, has become a buzz on social media and the images have gone viral since then.

On the controversy surrounding the alleged last-minute exclusion of central government’s PSU, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) from the deal, the couple defended the government by writing, “UPA itself had refused the contract to HAL, which quoted 2.7 higher man-hours required for the job”.

The couple has even requested wedding guests to donate to the BJP via the Narendra Modi (NAMO) app and vote for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.

“Our gift would be whatsoever you may wish to contribute towards BJP via Namo app and your vote for Modi in 2019 Lok Sabha election,” reads the card.

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