At a time when BJP would be exulting over the high ratings of the party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and their public perception as anti-corruption in Pew survey, the Congress has gone and raised little talked about, inconvenient issues.
Coming at the height of poll campaign in Gujarat, this is bound to evoke strong reactions, especially as the Congress and its vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s statements seem to be getting better traction than ever before among the people.
Training his guns at Modi on the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused the government of “changing the entire deal to benefit one businessman”.
Talking to journalists, he asked, “Listen, all of you keep asking me so many questions and I happily answer them. I want to ask why don’t you question the Prime Minister over the Rafale deal? Why don’t you ask about Amit Shah’s son? Prime Minister changed the entire deal to help just one businessman. Why are not you asking questions to him?”
Gandhi was speaking after his meeting with workers of the All India Unorganised Workers’ Congress. Gandhi, who is also leading the Congress’ election campaign in multiple states, including Gujarat, had earlier this week levelled allegations of crony capitalism against the government and of compromising national interest and security over the Rafale aircraft agreement.
His comments came after a series of critical tweets on Thursday morning where he described the Rafale deal as a “loot”.
He tweeted: “Can you explain ‘Reliance’ on someone with nil experience in aerospace for Rafale deal?”
In another tweet, he said: “Self ‘Reliance’ is obviously a critical aspect of ‘Make in India.’”
His comments provoked counter reactions. The BJP trashed the allegations, demanding that the Congress must first explain bribery allegations in the Agusta Westland VVIP choppers deal.
On Tuesday, when the Congress alleged that the Rafale deal was tailor-made to help Reliance Defence, the company called the allegations “baseless and unfounded”.
A senior French official too, on November 15, said “fictional facts were being floated in air”.
Reliance Defence, in a statement, asked the Congress to correct its facts or face legal action.