Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group has served legal notices to spokespersons and leaders of the Congress party asking them to “cease and desist” from levelling allegations against the Rafale deal, PTI reported on Wednesday.

This comes a day after Ambani wrote to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, claiming that the Opposition party was misinformed and “blamed corporate rivals for misleading” the Congress.

The notices have been served ahead of a month-long offensive planned by the Congress against the Rafale deal. The party has planned press conferences across the country from August 25 to September 6, and district and state-level agitations starting September 7.

Randeep Surjewala, Ashok Chavan, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sunil Jakhar, Priyanka Chaturvedi and Jaiveer Shergill are among the leaders who were served notices for making “derogatory and defamatory statements in the press and electronic media in relation to the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft by India from France in a government-to-government contract.”

Punjab Congress chief and Lok Sabha MP Sunil Jakhar alleged the legal notice was the evidence of a “nexus between the BJP and the corporate world”.

“I reiterate, my aeroplane making skills [as demonstrated in Lok Sabha] are better than yours,” he tweeted, along with a photo of a paper plane.

“It is a dark day for the democracy,” Jakhar told PTI. “An industrialist serving legal notice to an elected representative is a serious issue,” he said, adding that the Congress will continue to fight the nexus between capitalists and BJP.

Congress spokesperson Shaktising Gohil said he had received two such notices. The notices claimed Gohil had caused lossed to the company to the extent of Rs 50,000 crore.

“I had received a notice earlier and had sent a reply saying whatever has been stated is on the basis of documents in public domain,” Gohil said. “The notices show that the prime minister is worried and is now getting back at the Congress by serving such notices.”

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said the legal notices show “their [Reliance Group’s] eagerness to manufacture defence aircraft as soon as they formed a company and Modi government obliged”. She said the party will “not be silenced till we don’t get our answers on the scam”.

Another party spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill, who also received a legal notice, said he won’t “get scared with such notices”. “Tax payer of this country deserves to know why they paid extra [Rs] 42000 crore.”