The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday accused the Congress of “collectively singing falsehoods” to defend the comments made by its President Rahul Gandhi on the Rafale deal, PTI reported. The Bharatiya Janata Party has submitted a privilege notice against Gandhi in the Lok Sabha, accusing him of misleading Parliament by making false allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
On July 20, Gandhi lashed out at Modi and Sitharaman, claiming they have not been truthful about the deal with France. The Congress president claimed that French President Emmanuel Macron had told him that there was no secrecy pact between the two countries about the deal. Following Gandhi’s speech, France issued a statement that said a 2008 agreement between Paris and New Delhi bound the two countries to protect classified documents and it applied to the Rafale deal.
On Monday, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad cited the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government’s refusal to share details about defence deals on the grounds of national security. Prasad said the UPA government’s stand was right and accused Gandhi of trying to damage India’s national security for political mileage. “The stand of the Congress on the Rafale deal is clearly not in the interest of the country,” Prasad said.
Prasad said Congress leaders like former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Defence Minister AK Antony likely understand the sensitive nature of the deal, but have been “forced” to demand that the BJP-led government reveal the details of the agreement with France, in order to defend Gandhi.
“Dynastic parties are always a crowd around a family,” Prasad said. “That is true of the Congress. Since a member of the family has resorted to falsehood, the crowd around the family has no option but to collectively sing the tune of falsehood.” He claimed that the UPA government was a “byword for corruption” and the Congress has now picked a “manufactured” matter “to create a smokescreen that others are also corrupt like it”.
The law minister also dismissed as “misplaced bravado” the Congress’ threat of moving a breach of privilege motion against Modi and Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha.