Rahul Gandhi and Congress ran slanderous campaign on Rafale; SC has rightly warned them: Rajnath Singh

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday hit out at the Congress party for alleging corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal and maligning the honest and clean Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.

Rahul Gandhi and Congress ran slanderous campaign on Rafale; SC has rightly warned them: Rajnath Singh
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NEW DELHI: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday hit out at the Congress party for alleging corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal with France and maligning the ''honest and clean'' Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.

''The allegation of corruption in Rafale deal was nothing but an attempt to malign the clean & honest image of PM Modi & his Govt,'' the Defence Minister said in a series of tweets on Thursday. 

The Defence Minister said this shortly after the Supreme Court rejected a batch of petitions demanding a court-monitored probe into the purchase of fully-loaded 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

Welcoming the top court ruling in the case, Singh further tweeted, ''I wholeheartedly welcome the Supreme Court’s categorical dismissal of the review petitions in the Rafale case and with this pronouncement the NDA Government stands vindicated. The SC verdict is also a judgement on our Government’s transparency in decision making.''

Attacking the Congress party further, the Defence Minister said, ''The allegations made by certain political parties and their leaders in Rafale jet purchase were extremely unfortunate, unwarranted and laced with malicious intent.''

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In another tweet, the veteran BJP leader reiterated that the Rafale deal was done in a fair and transparent manner.

''The purchase of Rafale jets was done in a completely transparent manner, keeping in mind the urgency to update and upgrade India’s defence preparedness,'' Singh said.

Giving a piece of advice to the BJP critics, Rajnath Singh said, ''The verdict has rightly cautioned such politicians to be careful while making wild allegations.''

Referring to the top court warning to Rahul Gandhi, who had made objectionable references to the PM and led his party's vitriolic campaign against the NDA government on the Rafael deal, the  Defence Minister went on to say, ''The people of India will not forgive the Congress for their slanderous campaign and calumny. Congress should apologise for misleading the people.''

''The issues pertaining to defence preparedness and national security should never be politicised,'' he added. 

Rajnath Singh's party colleague and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad too demanded an apology from the Congress party after the top court delivered its verdict in the case.

The 36 Rafale fighter aircraft deal for the Indian Air Force (IAF) signed by the BJP-led NDA government will not be investigated as the Supreme Court on Thursday said while rejecting the review petitions challenging its 2018 order giving a clean chit to the government of the day. The petitions had demanded a CBI probe into the purchase of 36 fully-loaded Rafale fighter jets from France but the apex court found no merit in the arguments while upholding its previous order in which it gave a clean chit to the BJP-led NDA government.

Pronouncing its order, the apex court bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph said, ''There is no moral ground to order a CBI probe into the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.'' Reading out the judgement, Justice SK Kaul said, ''There are no grounds to order an FIR and that the court cannot initiate a roving and fishing inquiry". 

With this, the top court also dismissed all review petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal.

The Supreme Court had in its 2018 order given a clean chit to the Narendra Modi government on a plea seeking investigation into alleged irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets by India from France.