At a time when Rahul Gandhi appears to have turned the Rafale deal into his main electoral weapon, the BJP has hit back hard with party spokesperson Prakash Javdekar saying it exposes the hollow political character of the Congress chief.
Rahul has repeatedly accused the Narendra Modi government of paying an inflated price for the fighter aircraft from France's Dassault Aviation - a charge the government has relentlessly denied. Rahul has also questioned why Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence - and not Hindustan Aeronautics Limited - got the contract to manufacture the jet under license in India. This is also a charge that BJP has vehemently denied, saying the government had no role to play in it.
On Tuesday, Rahul renewed his charge against the BJP over the Rafale issue at the Congress Working Committee meet but his charges were rebutted by Javdekar. "We thought at least in Gandhinagar, where Gandhi ji worked, Rahul Gandhi would speak the truth. But even there, he continued with his story of lies. Mahatma Gandhi and this Gandhi are different. He used to walk on the path of truth and Rahul walks on the path of lies. What is Rafale? I always describe Rafale as 'Rahul fail.' He thinks that if lies are spoken repeatedly, they become the truth. But it does not happen," said Javdekar.
BJP has previously termed Rahul as 'shameless' for questioning the deal which is crucial for the national security of India. Party president Amit Shah had called Rahul a 'liar' for making 'misleading statements.'
Even as Congress demanded a JPC probe into the deal, the Indian Air Force said that the Rafale jets could prove to be a gamechanger.