Claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have been "number one accused" in the Rafale deal had Lokpal been implemented, the Congress on Monday said in Lok Sabha that his broad shoulders cannot stand the "bullet of corruption".
If anybody has to be held guilty in Rafale deal, "it is the PM and PM alone", Congress leader Veerappa Moily said launching a scathing attack against PM Modi and the Union government during a discussion on the interim budget.
He alleged that the Rafale deal has become a "household scandal" and that PM Modi may "escape" his responsibility today but not in the days to come.
Mr Moily cited recent critical media reports on the fighter aircraft deal to target the government.
While the defence budget saw only a paltry increase in absolute terms and the allocation to the sector as percentage of the GDP has gone down, he alleged the ruling BJP is using money to "buy" MLAs, build "palatial" offices and filling its coffers.
On the Rafale deal, in which the Congress has accused the government of corruption, Mr Moily said, "Now it is crystal clear why Lokpal (law) is not being implemented. If it had been in place, the PM would be number one accused."
He was referring to the law on setting up anti-corruption ombudsman.
Due to this "guilty conscience", the Union government has been using investigative agencies against its rivals, he alleged.
In an apparent reference to PM Modi's comments about his "56-inch chest", Mr Moily said, "When bullet of corruption is hit, his broad shoulders cannot bear it."
PM Modi had earlier hit out the Congress over the Rafale deal, saying the party did not want the country's armed forces to be strengthened, and had asked if it was bidding for any private player.
During his reply to the discussion on motion of thanks on the President's address, the Prime Minister had alleged that no defence deal under the Congress was without kickbacks.
Disclaimer: NDTV has been sued for 10,000 crores by Anil Ambani's Reliance Group for its coverage of the Rafale deal
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