Days after challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a one-on-one debate over the Rafale issue, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday said there will be a criminal investigation in the defence deal and that the accused will be punished if Congress comes to power, news agency PTI reported. He also accused Modi of “weakening national security” and giving the defence contract to his “friend and international debt master” Anil Ambani.
Launching a fresh attack on the BJP-led government, Gandhi said the entire Opposition is waiting for Defence Minister to answer their questions on Rafale. Addressing reporters outside Parliament, Gandhi also asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to answer his questions on the defence deal instead of “abusing him.” Both Gandhi and Jaitley were involved in a bitter face-off in Lok Sabha earlier this week when the Parliament discussed the Rafale deal.
The Congress also fielded senior Congress leaders to corner the government over the issue. “Will the prime minister and defence minister now disclose the full facts to Parliament. Only a JPC can investigate the Rafale scam,” senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters outside Parliament. “Modiji is continuing to lie as are his counsels, be it Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj or the defence minister (Nirmala Sitharaman),” Mallikarjun Kharge added.
Earlier this week, Gandhi launched a fresh salvo at Modi saying the prime minister does not have the “guts” to come to Parliament to respond to questions. He also tweeted four questions on “Rafale exam” and challenged Modi to answer them. He (Modi) spoke for 90 minutes in a staged interview but still did not answer questions on the Rafale issue,” he added.
The Congress accused the Modi government of paying the higer price for the fighter aircraft compared to Qatar and Egypt and that Reliance Defence (Anil Ambani’s company) was chosen as the offset partner because of BJP. It also claims to have a recording purportedly of a Goa minister telling a person that former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had a Rafale file in his bedroom.
Source – IE