Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Friday said the Supreme Court verdict dismissing the need for an inquiry into the Rafale deal was a “slap on the face of those who indulge in politics of lies”. He said his party was ready to have a facts-based discussion on the matter in Parliament for as long as the Congress wants, and that adjourning the House was not a solution.
Shah asked why the Congress had not tried to assist or become a petitioner in the Supreme Court if it had proof of wrongdoing in the Rafale deal. He asked Congress President Rahul Gandhi to reveal the source of his information that led him to make allegations against the Rafale deal, if he wants to maintain his credibility.
No bigger attempt has been made to mislead people since Independence, and it was unfortunate that it was done by the head of the oldest political party, Shah said in a press conference, in a reference to allegations made against the deal by the Congress and Rahul Gandhi. The Congress made the allegations for “temporary gains”, Shah said.
Shah asked Rahul Gandhi, and “whoever tried to mislead the nation on Rafale deal”, to apologise with hands folded to the defence forces and the public for misleading them. They have tried to endanger national security through the allegations, he claimed.
Invoking defence deal middlemen Ottavio Quattrocchi and Christian Michel, Shah also asked the Congress why it had never signed “government-to-government” agreements. The Rafale deal was a government-to-government deal, and there was no question of middlemen, he said, adding that the Congress should look into its own past before making allegations.
The BJP president advised Gandhi to refrain from making “childish accusations” again. “The Congress has made an imaginary world for itself, which has no place for truth and justice,” he said, when asked about the Congress’ response that it would still demand an inquiry by a joint parliamentary committee.
Petitions seeking an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Rafale deal had been filed by lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie. Lawyer ML Sharma and Vineet Dhanda and Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh had also filed petitions against the deal. On Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed all petitions, and said perceptions of individuals cannot form the basis of judicial interference.
In his press conference, Amit Shah referred to the petitioners as the “B-team” of Congress.