Rahul Gandhi: Parallel discussions on Rafale deal reveal chowkidar is a thief

Updated: Feb 09, 2019, 12:53 IST | Agencies

Attack comes after media report claims that Defence Ministry objected to discussions conducted by the PMO

Rahul Gandhi: Parallel discussions on Rafale deal reveal chowkidar is a thief
Rahul Gandhi, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and AICC General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia during a public meeting Abhar Sammelan at Jamburi Maidan, in Bhopal, on Friday. Pic/PTI

Congress President Rahul Gandhi demanded answers to questions raised by a media report that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) conducted parallel negotiations on the Rafale deal, saying it is now 'crystal clear' that the "watchman" is the "thief" as he ramped up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It is an open and shut case, Gandhi declared, citing a report in The Hindu newspaper claiming the Defence Ministry raised strong objections to "parallel discussions" conducted by the PMO during the negotiations over the Rs59,000-crore Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France.

As the report drew fresh battle-lines with the BJP and its ministers terming Gandhi's allegations another "lie from his lie manufacturing factory" and Opposition leaders speaking out against the deal, the Congress president brought in his brother-in-law Robert Vadra and senior leader P Chidambaram to make his point. "Whatever inquiry you want to do, you do it. You implement the law. Robert Vadra, P Chidambaram - you implement the law on everyone. No problem.

But you also give answers on the Rafale matter," he said at a press conference, using the report to give his offensive on the Rafale deal a fillip. He was responding to a question on the ED interrogating Vadra in a money laundering case and the government's sanction to prosecute Chidambaram in INX Media case.

Sitharaman rubbishes report
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman dismissed the media report as "flogging a dead horse". Her suo motu statement came in Lok Sabha in the wake of protests by the Opposition over the report which claimed the Defence Ministry had protested to the PMO the mechanism being adopted for the deal.

Rahul's allegation yet another lie: BJP
In a sharp counter-offensive against Rahul Gandhi over the Rafale issue, the BJP said his fresh allegation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "yet another lie from his lie-manufacturing factory" and accused him of working at the behest of foreign forces for the cancellation of the deal.

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