Responding to Arun Jaitley’s barbs in the Lok Sabha earlier in the day during the discussion on Rafale, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday evening launched a blistering attack on the Government in front of jam packed media representatives
Asserting that the Parrikar tape that the Lok Sabha Speaker did not allow him to play in the House, was authentic, he enigmatically said that there might be other tapes as well.
Pointing out that both Mr Parrikar and Vishwajeet Rane had claimed the tape to have been doctored, the Congress President asked, “ Wouldn’t they say that ?” “I asked the Lok Sabha Speaker can I play the tape, the Speaker refused to allow me to play it, so there was no question of authenticating the tape there. Congress has already played it. Also, there might be other tapes as well, ” he said.
He emphasised that Manohar Parrikar is effectively blackmailing prime minister on Rafale. “ What Mr Parrikar is doing is threatening and blackmailing the Prime Minister of India because he (Parrikar) has information of the Rafale deal,” he added.
Rahul Gandhi explained where the Congress has got its ‘figures’ of the Rafale deal as the government keeps asking it repeatedly, “They keep asking where does Congress get the 1600 cr per aircraft figure, let me tell you from where. Jaitley ji in his speech in Parliament had said the deal is 58000 cr, so divide this by 36, what figure do you get? 1600 cr,” he said. while playing two video clips of Mr Jaitley’s speech.
He once again questioned why the prime minister and defence minister can not come in the Parliament and defend the Rafale deal.
He made it clear that the Congress is not raising doubts over the quality of the Rafale aircraft but is saying that the prime minister has changed the deal to benefit Anil Ambani.
“If prices of Rafale deal were brought down as claimed by Jaitley why did we not buy 126 aircraft or more, asks Rahul”, he questioned.
Commenting on the Supreme Court verdict on the deal, Rahul Gandhi said that the Supreme Court has not said that there should be no investigation, no JPC on Rafale deal.
When asked if there will be a probe into the deal if Congress comes to power, Rahul Gandhi said that the Congress will definitely investigate the Rafale deal if it comes into power.
Also to other question rahul gandhi challenged PM Modi for a one-on-one debate on Rafale and said that the PM doesn’t have guts to face him.
Referring to the prime minister interview to news agency ANI, he took a jibe at PM Modi, “one thing I found very surprising and interesting in his interview yesterday was that PM said the allegation is not against me personally. What world is the PM living in?”
Earlier the opposition and the government had a face off in the Lok Sabha where Rahul Gandhi initiated the debate over Rafale deal raising various questions about the deal, TMC leader Saugata Roy and BJD leader Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo too raised doubts over the irregularities in the deal.
But Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hitting back at the Congress president refused to have a JPC probe in the Rafale deal.