It’s just the beginning, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said, referring to the ongoing controversy over the Rafale deal. “Abhi to shuruaat hai, aane wale do teen mahino mein aur mazaa aayega (the next two or three months will be fun),” he told reporters ahead of a district level vigilance and monitoring committee meeting at the collectorate in his Lok Sabha constituency Amethi.
Rahul also reiterated the charge that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi was responsible for the country losing money on the Rafale deal. “The truth (about Rafale deal) will come out in the coming days. The truth will also come out about who helped Vijay Mallya in escaping from the country.”
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni hit out at the Congress chief, tweeting in Hindi that he was crying foul over the Rafale deal because his brother-in-law Robert Vadra’s friends did not gain from the offset.
The Congress dismissed the BJP’s claim that Gandhi wanted the Rafale deal scrapped to help a firm linked to Vadra, saying the Modi government was responding to the alleged scam with abuses and mud-slinging.
Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala asked, “Are you Ambani’s PM, or the country’s prime minister?”
One of the reasons why the Rafale jets deal has also become controversial on account of the fact that one of the offset deals signed by Dassault is with the Reliance Group of Anil Ambani. The Congress claims an earlier deal was scrapped and a new one signed just to provide Ambani this opportunity for an offset deal. Both the government and Reliance have repeatedly denied this.
On Tuesday, Congress leader Kapil Sibal also attacked the Prime Minister over the deal. “It is a kind of corruption that India has never seen before. No Prime Minister in the history of this country has had the arrogance to go to another country and without discussing it with his own ministers inform the world about the defence deal. No Prime Minister has ever done it. This is contrary to the democratic way of functioning,” he said.
Earlier, Congress and BJP workers came face-to-face when Gandhi was going to the collectorate compound to attend the meeting. The police had to push both the groups to a safe distance to avert any clash. The BJP workers carried placards questioning Rahul’s Shiv Bhakt (devotee of Shiva) credentials. Gandhi was welcomed in Amethi on Monday as a Shiv Bhakt and offered prayers; the tag is in reference to his visit to Kailash Manasarovar, considered the abode of Hindu God Shiva.