Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and industrialist Anil Ambani, saying in a tweet that the prerequisite to bag India's biggest defence contract was to be a "defaulter of Rs 45,000 crore" without any "relevant experience".
The Congress president made the comment in reference to the controversy surrounding the Rafale jet deal in which he had alleged that a Rs 30,000 crore contract was wrongly given to Reliance Defence to benefit Anil Ambani who, he claimed, was in debt of Rs 45,000 crore.
Mr Gandhi had also alleged that Mr Ambani's company didn't have any experience in defence manufacturing and it was wrongly preferred over state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited which had expertise in the field.
The BJP and Reliance Defence had dismissed the allegations as false.
"Modi's Operandi (sic) for handing out India's biggest defence contracts -- 1. Be a defaulter of 45,000 crore. 2. Owe money to other companies who beg Supreme Court not to let you leave India. 3. Be called 'Bhai' by PM but have no relevant experience," Mr Gandhi said in a tweet.
The Rafale jet deal row intensified last month after a French publication quoted former President Francois Hollande saying France was not given a choice on selection of the Indian partner for Dassault, the manufacturer of Rafale jets.
The French government and Dassault later refuted the claims made by Mr Hollande.
PM Modi had announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighters after holding talks with Mr Hollande on April 10, 2015, in Paris.
On Tuesday, Mr Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Maharashtra's Wardha. He said," You tried PM Modi, he broke your trust. Now trust Congress and Mahatma Gandhi's ideology to take India forward," he told a large gathering, referring to the Rafale jet deal row.
The BJP dubbed the Congress president a "tape recorder of lies" and said his party's fortunes will go down as swiftly as he resorts to "falsehoods" to target the Modi government.
With inputs from PTI