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Abuse, insult, scorn but few answers on Rafale: Congress

The Congress accused the govt of resorting to diversionary tactics

By Our Special Correspondent in New Delhi

  • Published 25.09.18, 4:31 AM
  • Updated 25.09.18, 4:31 AM
Abhishek Singhvi
Abhishek Singhvi Picture by Prem Singh

The Congress on Monday accused the government of insulting Opposition leaders and resorting to diversionary tactics instead of answering key questions on the Rafale deal, which it said was only deepening the people’s suspicions.

“What we got from the government is abuses, ridicule, insults, obfuscation and diversion,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.

“There are no answers to specific questions. They are linking Rahul Gandhi to former French President Francois Hollande and Pakistan. This shows the contempt BJP has for the intelligence of the Indian people.”

Hollande has been quoted as saying it was the Indian government that proposed a private company (Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence) for the Rafale offset contract, contradicting the Narendra Modi government’s stand that it wasn’t involved in the matter.

Singhvi alleged that the facts left no doubt that the Centre had violated defence procurement norms and was guilty of crony capitalism in the Rafale deal.

“We are prepared to digest abuses and insults but kindly tell the nation why and when Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd was ousted from the deal when both the Indian and French sides confirmed that the deal was final and was at the signing stage,” he said.

Singhvi contested the BJP charge that Rahul had got the earlier deal, which the then UPA government was negotiating, cancelled.

“The Prime Minister announced a new deal when the UPA deal was alive. The UPA deal was cancelled on July 30, 2015, after Narendra Modi announced the (new) deal on April 10, 2015,” he said. “Modi presented the country a fait accompli and the government department completed the formalities after the deal was done.”

Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram argued that the best way of ending the slanging match was to establish the truth through a probe.

“Truth cannot have two versions, says finance minister (Arun Jaitley). Absolutely correct. Since, according to FM, there are two versions, what is the best way to find out which version is ‘true’? Either (1) order an inquiry or (2) toss a coin,” he tweeted.

“I suppose the FM would prefer to toss a coin (preferably with ‘head’ on both sides)! It is a pity that the government does not see the inexorable flow of events and refuses to order an inquiry. Who knows what will happen in 6 months or 12 months?”

Both sides continued with their verbal war on Monday. While BJP ministers participated in a social media campaign on the hashtag ‘RahulKaPuraKhandanChor’, the Congress hit back with