Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today has a lacerating reply to Rahul Gandhi's demand for prosecution of the Prime Minister over the Rafale deal, saying the Congress chief believed neither the Air Force nor the government, and only a certificate from Pakistan would satisfy him. His cabinet colleague Arun Jaitley said the Congress is only trying to deflect attention and in those attempts, had only managed to "box themselves in a corner".
"The facts were completely wrong, the motivation was wrong... The motivation was collateral -- to shift the focus," Mr Jaitley said.
"They are getting high TRP in Pakistan," he added in a reference to a recent resolution by 21 parties criticising the government. The resolution, the government said, was highlighted by Pakistani media as proof of New Delhi tweaking the facts for domestic politics and accused the opposition of playing into Pakistan's hands.
"Will Rahul Gandhi need a certificate about Rafale from Pakistan? In that we cannot help. Of late, he believes Pakistan more than Indian forces and its leaders," the senior BJP leader told the media today.
"I totally condemn the blatant lies of Rahul Gandhi. He does not believe the Indian Air Force, does not trust the Supreme Court verdict that clearly said there is no commercial impropriety in the (Rafale) procurement process. He does not believe the CAG," Mr Prasad said.
The opposition has questioned the government on multiple counts regarding the February 26 air strikes at the Jaish-e Mohammad camp at Pakistan's Balakot. While some, like Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioned the impact of the strikes in terms of casualty, others like Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has asked for evidence.
The questions have become sharper in the wake of reports in the foreign media that quoted international experts who claimed that the impact of the attack might be less than what the government has claimed. Pakistan has claimed that the Indian aircraft had "released payloads early" during the pre-dawn strike and there has been no damage.
The Air Force said it has submitted all the evidence it had to the government and they would be released at the government's discretion.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.