Congress backed 'Tukde-Tukde' gang, dare Rahul Gandhi to shout anti-India slogans: Smriti Irani

Irani attacked the Congress party for expressing solidarity with the 'Tukde-Tukde' gang. 

Congress backed 'Tukde-Tukde' gang, dare Rahul Gandhi to shout anti-India slogans: Smriti Irani

NEW DELHI: Hitting out at the Congress, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday alleged that the main opposition party supported the 'Tukde-Tukde' gang and publicly expressed solidarity with the anti-nationals in an apparent reference to those named in the 2016 JNU sedition case.

The firebrand BJP leader also dared Congress president Rahul Gandhi to repeat the slogan `Bharat Tere Tukde Honge" in public if he had guts.

"The Congress president publicly stood with such forces (anti-India) and publicly supported the statement of `Bharat Tere Tukde Honge`. Would they have the guts to stand out in public and repeat that slogan against India and interests of India?" Irani dared while addressing a press conference in the national capital.

The Union Textiles Minister said that, on one hand, the BJP led government at the Centre has resolved to ensure a strong and resurgent India, on the other, the Congress continued to support those who shouted, on the streets of the national capital, `Bharat Tere Tukde Honge`.

She further alleged that the grand old part was running a "malicious campaign" against the Narendra Modi government on the Rafale fighter jets deal with France.

Irani stated that the Congress party has "abandoned" national interest for its false propaganda.

Rejecting the Congress' charges against the government, BJP leader and Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani told reporters that the Opposition party's "malicious campaign has been exposed" in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on the matter.

Irani also cited Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's over 90-minute reply in Parliament on the allegations made by the Congress-led Opposition over the Rafale jet deal.

Irani made these remarks while responding to a question about the allegations of corruption levelled by the Congress against the Narendra Modi government.

In an apparent dig at Congress leaders, including its president Rahul Gandhi and senior leader P Chidambaram - who targeted the government on Friday, Irani said those who are on bail are running a false propaganda.

"The Congress game of running a malicious campaign on this issue and abandoning national interest for their own politics has been exposed," the Textiles Minister said.

The Congress has been alleging corruption in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft with Rahul Gandhi repeatedly targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.

Earlier on Friday, P Chidambaram had alleged that the NDA government has wronged the country by reducing the number of aircraft bought under the Rafale deal as it "denied" the IAF the fighter jets it "desperately" needed and gave a "windfall" to Dassault Aviation by paying more per aircraft.

The BJP government has categorically rejected all the charges, insisting that the deal signed by the NDA government was honest and cost less than what was decided during the UPA dispensation. 

(With PTI inputs)