"Modi does not have guts to come to Parl to confront questions on Rafale": Rahul

PTI
Wednesday, 2 January 2019

"He (Modi) spoke for 90 minutes in a staged interview but still did not answer questions on the Rafale issue," Gandhi said, reiterating his party's demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the matter.

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched a stinging attack in the Lok Sabha on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale issue, saying he does not have "guts" to come to Parliament to confront questions and "hides" in his room.
 
The House also witnessed high drama after Gandhi sought the Speaker's permission to play an audio tape, purportedly of a Goa minister, on the Rafale deal.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the tape is "false and fabricated", asking Gandhi if he can authenticate it. He may have to face privilege motion and even expulsion in case it turns out to be fabircated, the BJP leader added.
 
Amid an uproar, which caused brief adjournment of the House proceedings, Gandhi said he would not play it and authenticate it, prompting Jaitley to say that he was "scared" as he knew it was false. 
"This man lies and lies repeatedly," Jaitley said.
 
The Speaker also disallowed Gandhi's request to play the clip.
 
Gandhi claimed BJP members were "terrified" of the clip in which Goa minister Vishwajit Rane purportedly told somebody that former defence minister Manohar Parrikar had a Rafale file in his bedroom.
 
Rane has already termed the tape "fabricated", Jaitley said.
 
In his speech, Gandhi also referred to Modi's comments in an interview that no personal allegation was levelled against him in the matter and said this is not true as the "entire nation" is asking him a direct question on the contract for purchase of fighter aircraft.
 
"He (Modi) spoke for 90 minutes in a staged interview but still did not answer questions on the Rafale issue," Gandhi said, reiterating his party's demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the matter. 

"We demand a JPC probe into matter. There is no reasopn for BJP leaders to feel afraid. The country will get to know that Modi put Rs 30,000 crore in the pockets of 'double A'. The contract was snatched from HAL (a government-run unit)," he said, alleging corruption in the contract.
 
'Double A' was an apparent reference to Anil Ambani, whom Gandhi repeatedly referred to in his speech before Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked him not to name him as he is not a member of the House. 

The Congress leader described Ambani as a "dear friend" of Modi and a "failed businessman". His defence firm was registered only 10 days before it got the off-set contract from Rafale, a French firm, Gandhi alleged. 

Ambani has repeatedly denied allegations against him. 

Gandhi also claimed that defence ministry officials had objected to the renegotiated deal on the purchase of Rafale aircraft.
 
He also accused AIADMK members, who were protesting in the Well of the House over the Cauvery issue, of trying to protect Modi. 

Taking a dig at Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was present in the House, Gandhi said she was "hiding" behind the AIADMK members while Modi "hides" in his room.

Related News