On Thursday, Rahul Gandhi has resumed his attacks on BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi charges him in a tweet of “feeling” Parliament instead of facing the question over Rafale fighter jets deal. On Wednesday, during a debate in the Lok Sabha, the Congress Chief had charged that PM Modi is “hiding in his room” and puts up “four questions” on the Rs. 58000 crore deal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a day-long visit to Punjab, where he is likely to unveil the India Science Congress and address the opening session.
Mr. Gandhi tweeted, “So it seems our PM has fled Parliament & his own open book Rafale exam and is instead lecturing students at Lovely University in Punjab, today. I request the students there to, respectfully, ask him to please answer the 4 questions posed to him by me, yesterday.”
The questions rotated around the number of aircraft, pricing claims about the objections raised by the Defence Ministry and what the party called for patronage.
On Wednesday, Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi has spent much of the day flinging the challenges at the Prime Minister of India.
One of these was raised as an “open book exam” in the Parliament.
He further tweeted: “Tomorrow, the PM faces an Open Book #RafaleDeal Exam in Parliament. Here are the exam questions in advance: Q1. Why 36 aircraft, instead of the 126 the IAF needed? Q2. Why 1,600 Cr instead of 560 Cr per aircraft. Q4. Why AA instead of HAL? Will he show up? Or send a proxy.”
BJP seized on this missing Question 3 and has urged the Congress Chief to “forget an open book, first learn to count”. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also attacked Mr. Gandhi and tweeted, “A student who fails in the classroom boasts and challenges from outside.”
Union Minister Arun Jaitley has led the government’s counter to Rahul Gandhi’s allegations, accused him of repeatedly lying. Replying to one of his points over the Rafale deal, Mr. Jaitley also replied that “it was a tragedy for the country that the Grand Old Party was headed by a gentleman who doesn’t have the understanding of what a combat aircraft is.”
Congress and other opposition parties have alleged the centre government of settling for an overpriced deal with Rafale fighter jets-maker Dassault to facilitate Anil Ambani, whose Defence Firm Reliance Defence has bagged an offset to deal with Dassault, the French company manufacturing the Rafale aircraft. Both the government of India and Dassault have denied the allegations raised by Congress.