Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Friday dared Congress president Rahul Gandhi for a debate on the Rafale fighter jets deal, asserting that the latter’s “lies” have been exposed by the Supreme Court. Addressing a press conference in the national capital, the BJP chief said that a debate in Parliament was needed even to ascertain the need of a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the issue and hence the Congress-led opposition must stop stalling the House and agree for a debate.
Attacking the Congress president after the Supreme Court dismissed petitions seeking probe into the Rafale fighter jets deal, Amit Shah said that Rahul Gandhi must apologise to the people of the country for “misleading” them. He further said that the Congress chief must reveal the source of his information on Rafale deal.
“Whoever has lied on Rafale deal, especially Congress president Rahul Gandhi, they must apologise to the nation. Rahul Gandhi should also reveal the source of his information to the nation,” said the BJP president.
Shah also questioned Rahul Gandhi on why a government-to-government deal on Rafale deal was stalled from 2007 to 2014 under the Congress-led UPA government. “Why was Rafale deal stalled from 2007 to 2014, the Congress needs to explain this. They compromised with the military might of the nation,” said the BJP chief.
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, the BJP strongman said that he should “refrain from making such childish allegations in the future,” adding that “if all thieves join hands and call the chowkidar a thief, people of this country will not listen to them”.
Shah asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government was not running away from a JPC probe into the issue.
“We are not running from a JPC probe, I'm asking them as to why they ran away from the Supreme Court. If they had evidence, they should have become a party in the case and placed all documents before the court,” said Amit Shah.
He added, “JPC is formed after a debate in Parliament, but the Congress is running away from a debate on the issue. Arun Jaitley asked for a debate on the floor of the House today itself.”
The Congress party has maintained that neither was it a party to the case in Supreme Court, nor was the judgement a setback for them. According to the Congress, the pertinent questions on the Rafale deal remained unanswered.
The fresh political war of words was triggered by the Supreme Court verdict on Rafale deal. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi ruled that there would be no special investigation team to probe the deal, dismissed all petitions before it.