Cong running malicious campaign on Rafale deal, ‘public sab janti hai’: BJP

BJP leader and Union minister Smriti Irani
BJP leader and Union minister Smriti Irani

The BJP on Friday alleged that the Congress was running a “malicious campaign” against the government on the Rafale deal and has “abandoned” national interest for its false propaganda.

Rejecting the Congress’ charges against the government, BJP leader and Union minister Smriti Irani told reporters that the opposition party’s “malicious campaign has been exposed” as she noted the Supreme Court verdict on the matter and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s over 90-minute reply in Parliament.

She was responding to a question about the allegations of corruption levelled by the Congress against the Modi government.

In an apparent dig at Congress leaders, including its president Rahul Gandhi and senior leader P Chidambaram, who targeted the government Friday, Irani said those who are on bail are running a false propaganda.

“The Congress’ game of running a malicious campaign on this issue and abandoning national interest for their own politics has been exposed,” she said.

“The Supreme Court has spoken on it, the defence minister has spoken on it…For those who use this for their own political ends, yeh public hai sab janti hai (the public knows it all),” Irani said.

The Congress has been alleging corruption in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft with Rahul Gandhi repeatedly targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.

Chidambaram alleged on Friday that the NDA government has wronged the country by reducing the number of aircraft bought under the Rafale deal as it “denied” the IAF the fighter jets it “desperately” needed and gave a “windfall” to Dassault Aviation by paying more per aircraft.

The BJP has rejected all the charges, insisting that the deal signed by the NDA government was honest and cost less than what was decided during the UPA dispensation. PTI