Modi Hits Back At Congress Over Rafale In Parliament

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit back at Congress President Rahul Gandhi over the Rafale jet deal while questioning whether the opposition party was bidding for a company.

“I am levelling a serious allegation,” he said in his reply in Lok Sabha to the debate on Motion of Thanks on the President’s address. “I want to say it on the floor of Parliament that the Indian National Congress doesn't want our armed forces to be strong. They don’t want our security apparatus to be strong.”

Which companies are they (Congress) bidding for that they are acting so shamefully.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been intensifying attacks on Modi, accusing him of corruption in the multi- billion dollar jet deal with a French company.

Modi's retort came hours after Gandhi, at a Congress event in Delhi, described him as a “darpok” (coward) and dared him to a five-minute face-to-face debate on issues such as Rafale and national security.

The Prime Minister said that the armed forces were adversely affected due to delay in procurement under the Congress rule and its personnel did not have bullet-proof jackets, proper shoes, communication equipment or even helmets. “You had left the Army unarmed. It was not in a position to carry out surgical strikes,” he said, adding it is a great disservice to the nation. Modi wondered why advanced jets were not procured for 30 years when India’s neighbours were equipping themselves with latest weaponry.

“The nation will not forgive you for this sin,” the prime minister said. Taking a swipe at the Congress, he added, “They are surprised that there is a defence deal without kickbacks...they assume that a defence deal cannot happen without commission.”

Also read: India Bargained Badly, Gave Into Extortionist Demands In Rafale Deal, Says N Ram

Modi also alleged that those who imposed Emergency, “bullied” the judiciary and insulted the Army were now accusing him of destroying institutions.

He also took potshots at attempts to cobble a grand alliance of opposition parties to take on the BJP, saying people do not want a “mahamilavat” (highly adulterated) government as they have seen how the NDA government, which has a majority, can deliver. “A government has to work for the people of India, a government has to be sensitive to the people’s aspirations.”

He alleged that the opposition’s ability to listen to the truth has diminished. “We speak the truth, be it in country or outside, in Parliament or outside but your ability to listen to truth has diminished.”

Also read: Bofors Is A Scam, Not Rafale, Says Defence Minister In Lok Sabha Debate