Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday slammed Rahul Gandhi after the Congress president expressed “regret” in the Supreme Court over his statements in connection with the Rafale order which the top court had said was “incorrectly attributed” to it.
“His [Rahul Gandhi’s] credibility has taken a beating. People in public life to generously go on saying untruth and to repeat it is a matter of grief. I feel sorry that the president of a national party like Congress depends only on falsehood,” Sitharaman said at the media briefing in New Delhi.
“We will wait for the court tomorrow to hear what they have to say,” the Defence Minister added.
Earlier on Monday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressed “his regret” for claiming that the apex court itself said “Chowkidar Chor Hai” while giving an order in the admissibility of three documents in the Rafale fighter jet deal.
“The Supreme Court has made it clear that chowkidar-ji (watchman) has committed a theft,” Rahul Gandhi had told reporters during his rally in Amethi.
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi filed a criminal contempt petition in the Supreme Court against Gandhi over the remarks accusing the Congress chief of deliberately misinterpreting the court’s 10 April order.
“He is representing his personal statements as a Supreme Court order and is trying to create a prejudicial image in the minds of the public,” Meenakshi Lekhi had said.
A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the matter and said, “We make it clear the statement attributed to this court in the address made by the respondent (Rahul Gandhi) to the media and public has been incorrectly attributed to this court. We make it clear this court never made such observation. We only decided on the admissibility of documents”.
The bench had then asked Rahul Gandhi to give “an explanation” for his statement by 22 April.
In his reply to the Supreme Court, Rahul Gandhi said his statements were “used and misused by the political opponents” and that he “gave the statements in the heat of the political campaigning.”
The apex court will hear the matter on Tuesday.