Rahul Gandhi has "Rafale phobia", the BJP took a swipe at the Congress chief for his continuing attack on the Prime Minister over the controversial fighter jet deal. Mr Gandhi was also accused of playing with the country's security in the most "irresponsible manner".
"Rahul Gandhi is playing with the security of India in the most irresponsible manner. What he says in India is picked up by the Pakistani press the next day," Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
Rubbishing the Congress chief's allegations, the senior BJP leader said he was "lying shamelessly" and using distasteful language against PM Modi. Despite corruption charges against the members of the Gandhi family, Mr Prasad claimed, the BJP has refrained from using such language.
"Rahul Gandhi has Rafale phobia... The kind of language he is using against the Prime Minister does not behove him," Mr Prasad said.
The Congress chief has been relentlessly attacking PM Modi using the phrase "chowkidar chor hai" or "watchman is the thief" after the Prime Minister projected himself as a "chowkidar". In his taunts over the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal, Mr Gandhi alleged "he was a chowkidar of an industrialist".
"How many corruption charges were levelled against his father (Rajiv Gandhi) in the Bofors case? What has been the corruption record of Indiraji (former prime minister), his grandmother? We have never used the kind of language he has used against Prime Minister Narendra Modi," the Law Minister said.
The Congress-led UPA government couldn't close the Rafale deal as it didn't see any benefits and ignored the Indian Air Force's urgent needs, Mr Prasad alleged.
"As they did not get commission, therefore they kept it (deal) pending," he alleged.
The basic price of the Rafale fighter negotiated by the centre is cheaper than what the UPA had agreed to, the BJP leader reiterated.
The UPA government was negotiating with Dassault Aviation, that manufactures Rafale fighters, for 126 jets, of which 18 jets were to supplied in a ready-to-fly condition and 108 were to be manufactured in India by the French company along with the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). However, the UPA could not seal the deal.
"The Supreme Court had examined it thoroughly and found there is no commercial interest...," Mr Prasad said and clarified that the centre had no role in picking the offset partner.
With inputs from PTI
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