New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi, questioning if he has formed an international "mahagathbandhan" (grand alliance) with Pakistan as both have been raising the same slogan, "Modi hatao" (remove Modi).
Taking to Twitter, Amit Shah posted the screenshot of a tweet of Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain to throw barbs at Gandhi. Hussain had tagged Gandhi's tweets attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal to say that they explain the "BJP-led tirade against Pakistan".
Shah tweeted, "Rahul Gandhi says 'Modi Hatao'. Pakistan says 'Modi Hatao'. Now Pakistan also supports Rahul Gandhi's baseless allegations against PM Modi. Is Congress forming an International Mahagathbandhan against PM Modi?"
The Bharatiya Janata Party president used the hashtag #NaPakNaCongress (Neither Pakistan not Congress) to make his point.
The BJP and the Congress are involved in a bitter war of words over the alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal.
Earlier on Friday, Hollande had said that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal. In an interview to a French media house, Hollande on a question about who selected Reliance as a partner and why said it was the Indian government that proposed Reliance's name and Dassault had no choice but to take the company given to it.
On Friday, quoting an article, published by French journal Mediapart, ANI reported, "We did not have a say in that. The Indian government proposed this service group, and Dassault negotiated with Ambani. We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor we were given," said Hollande. The interview was published in French and excerpts of Hollande's interview were tweeted by French Newspaper LeMonde journalist Julien Boissou.
The Defence Ministry on Saturday argued that "unnecessary controversies are being sought to be created" over he issue and the deal was a "purely commercial arrangement between two private companies". In a statement, the Defence Ministry added the reported statement "perhaps needs to be seen in its full context" reiterating that the government had no role in the selection of the partners in the Rafale deal.
A day after former Hollande's remark, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterating that the 'chowkidaar' of the country is a thief and asked why the PM is silent on Hollande's remark.
He further pressed that PM Modi must clear his stand on the Rafale deal as the matter pertains to corruption and is related to the defence forces of the country.