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Rahul spreading lies on Rafale, says BJP

The BJP spokesperson claimed that the government and the defence minister had answered every issue related to the Rafale pact

By Our Special Correspondent in New Delhi
  • Published 12.10.18, 4:21 AM
  • Updated 12.10.18, 4:21 AM
  • 2 mins read
Rahul in New Delhi. (PTI)

The BJP on Thursday accused Rahul Gandhi of making a mockery of national security by peddling lies and dared the Congress president to approach the Supreme Court if he had evidence of wrongdoing in the Rafale deal, skirting the specific issue raised by the political opponent.

Fielded to counter Rahul’s allegations, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra chose not to speak on the claim in the French news website Mediapart that aerospace major Dassault had to select Anil Ambani’s company for a joint venture as a mandatory trade-off to win the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal. Patra instead focused on slamming the Congress for spreading “lies”.

The BJP spokesperson claimed that the government and the defence minister had answered every issue related to the Rafale pact and there was no need for further clarification.

Patra pointed out that even the Supreme Court had said it would not go into the pricing or the suitability of the Rafale jets. The BJP leader claimed that the petition in the Supreme Court seeking a sealed-cover report on the Rafale deal had been sponsored by the Congress.

“The clown prince can demand a number of things. Are we supposed to answer? Of course not,” Patra said, asked about Rahul’s demand for the Prime Minister’s resignation. Patra alleged that Rahul was desperate to launch his political career riding on the Rafale deal, but that the Congress chief would not succeed.

The BJP spokesperson dared Rahul to go to the Supreme Court if he had evidence and not resort to “shamelessness” by repeating lies. “The clown prince claims he has more details about the Rafale deal. Why is Rahul Gandhi not going to the Supreme Court?” Patra asked.

“Rahul Gandhi comes from a family of middlemen. The family has earned money from every defence deal,” the BJP leader added, countering Rahul’s charge that Modi was corrupt.

Expressing anger over the Congress president’s allegation that “Narendra Modi was the Prime Minister of Anil Ambani”, Patra went on to level a similar allegation against former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. “Was Rahul Gandhi’s father (Rajiv) PM of and server of (Ottavio) Quattrocchi?” he said, referring to the alleged Italian conduit in the Bofors deal.

Patra said Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa had termed the Rafale deal a “game-changer” and that the Supreme Court too had refused to entertain the “plea sponsored by the Congress”.

“Who is to be believed, the air chief marshal or Rahul Gandhi? The Supreme Court or Rahul Gandhi?” he asked.

Asked about Rahul’s allegation that defence minister Nirmala Sithraman’s visit to France was aimed at a “cover-up”, Patra firmly denied it and said it was a pre-scheduled trip. Patra wondered how the Congress could level such charges.