Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a day after the government said a probe over stealing of “privileged documents” related to Rafale was underway, Congress president Rahul Gandhi asked why the “person (PM Modi) who stole Rs 30,000 crore and conducted parallel negotiations in the deal is not being investigated”.
“2 crore jobs are missing, fair MSPs for farmers are missing, Businesses are missing due to GST… And today, Rafale files are missing,” he said further taking a swipe at PM Modi.
“Gayab ho gaya (It has vanished) is the government’s new tagline,” Rahul Gandhi said
Referring to the Centre’s arguments in the Supreme Court during a hearing of petitions seeking the recall of its December 14 verdict giving a “clean chit” on the purchase of the Rafale jets, Gandhi said the sole objective of the government and its machinery was to defend the “chowkidar” (watchman).
Basically, everything possible is done to safeguard Narendra Modi, he added.
As the hearing on Rafale began in the Supreme Court on petitions seeking review of its December 14 verdict, the government on Wednesday claimed that certain documents related to the matter “were stolen from the Defence Ministry and that the petitioners had violated the Official Secrets Act by relying on classified papers”.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre further told the court that an investigation was underway in the matter.
Continuing his tirade against PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi said the Prime Minister had performed a “bypass surgery” in the Rafale deal.
He said the papers were stolen since they are authentic and clearly state the Prime Minister was responsible for the delayed delivery and inflated price of the jets.
“Let there be an investigation about the documents but at the same time also investigate the Prime Minister’s role in the Rafale (deal),” Gandhi said.
With the government rejecting the Congress party’s persistent demand for a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), Gandhi asked why Modi was afraid of investigation into the deal.
“Why isn’t the Prime Minister allowing an investigation against himself if he is not guilty? Why did he refuse a JPC? If there is nothing wrong in the deal, then let there be an investigation. Modi should say he is not afraid of any probe and allow an investigation into the deal,” he asserted.
The Supreme Court on December 14 last year gave a clean chit to the Centre on the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.