The government's admission of theft of Rafale deal documents has supplied the Congress with fresh ammunition. Today, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi jeered at the government, saying "gayeb ho gaya" (it is gone) will be its new "tagline".
The words, he said, would apply to a multitude of things - like "jobs for youths, right prices for farmers' produce, promises of Rs 15 lakh to everyone's bank account, farmers' insurance, black money after demonetisation and Dokalam".
Yesterday, the government told the Supreme Court - which has been requested to reopen the case - that classified documents related to the deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets were stolen from the defence ministry.
The petitioners - who have sought a review of the top court's December verdict that endorsed the process followed in the deal - had accessed those papers illegally, the government said.
The admission has triggered a series of jibes, mostly at the Prime Minister, who had dubbed himself a chowkidaar (watchman) of the nation's interests.
Most questioned how classified documents from the defence ministry could have been stolen in presence of a "chowkidaar".
Today, Mayawati tweeted:
The Modi govt made a sensational disclosure in the Hon'ble Supreme Court that secret documents pertaining to Rafale fighter deal were stolen from the Defence Ministry. Very strange & irresponsible chowkidari. Is national security & interest in the safe hands? Think long & loud.- Mayawati (@Mayawati) March 7, 2019
"Chowkidaar cannot defend Files, can he be trusted with defending the country?" tweeted Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, too, tweeted about the document theft, questioning how such a "farce (tamasha)" could go on in the country.