Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has alleged that Congress president Rahul Gandhi "hatched a conspiracy" and opposed the Rafale jet deal with France to demean India's position in the world.
Addressing a press conference in Agartala on Friday, Mr Deb said the Supreme Court verdict, dismissing four petitions challenging the deal, proved that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre is accountable and enterprising.
"Congress president Rahul Gandhi hatched a conspiracy to demean India's proud position in the world... Congress had a stable government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for 10 years. Why did they fail to finalise the Rafale agreement? Who were they talking to? Why were they trying to demoralise our soldiers? Who instigated them to do this?" he asked
He said Mr Gandhi should seek an apology from people for raising "baseless" questions.
At the same press conference, senior BJP leader and Tripura Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said, "We think there might be a foreign conspiracy. It is a big conspiracy to delay the purchase of Rafale aircraft. It has raised questions on the security of Indians." Asked to name the country involved in the alleged conspiracy, Mr Nath said, "I don't know which country is involved. But there is involvement of foreign powers."
Reacting to the chief minister's comment, the Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee said Saturday all irregularities would be unearthed if a joint parliamentary committee is formed to probe the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
"We have not filed case in the Supreme Court, because our leader Rahul Gandhi rightly demanded that if JPC is formed all irregularities would be unearthed. We think the stand taken by Rahul Gandhi is right," TPCC president Birajit Sinha said. He alleged that the BJP government at the Centre had created an opportunity for Anil Ambani to make a profit of Rs 30,000 crore from the deal.
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