New Delhi: Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday equated Modi’s speeches with "gas". Rahul also talked about his meeting with Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar and claimed that the former defence minister told him that the prime minister had changed the Rafale fighter deal and not informed him.
"I met Parrikar ji yesterday. He had said the prime minister didn't even ask and inform the ex-defence minister (Parrikar) about the changes made in Rafale deal under his rule. The deal was signed to benefit Anil Ambani," Gandhi said in his speech at the Yuva Kranti Yatra.
The Gandhi scion said, "Kahin jaenge, kahenge badi shandar cheez dekhi maine, ek dhaba tha, nala tha, ek steel ka bartan rakha pipe lagaya, gas nikli, chulha jalaya. Modi ji ek kaam kariye, aap bahot bolte hai, apne saamne ek pipe lagao, dekhte hain gas nikalti hai ya nahi."
Translated, it means, "Wherever the prime minister goes he claims to have seen a splendid thing, there was a roadside eatery, a drain was there, I attached a gas pipeline to a steel utensil and there was a hearth. Modi ji, you talk too much, why don’t you attach a pipe to your body and let us see whether or not it releases gas."
Continuing his tirade against the prime minister over the Rafale deal row, Rahul stated: "We have asked three-four questions to Modi ji but he had no interest in answering them. He always sees left and right but never makes eye contact as the chowkidar is lying."
"He should know that truth can neither be hidden nor changed and Rafale's truth is getting revealed to the citizens. The entire country knows that Mr Modi stole opportunities from youth to give Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani,” he added.
Rahul, who had earlier expressed his happiness over the apex court's verdict to reinstate Alok Verma as CBI director, said Modi had panicked and called an immediate meeting to overthrow Verma since he knew that Verma was about to initiate a probe into the Rafale fighter aircraft deal. "Nothing can save Modi ji from Rafale deal," he said.
"The CBI director was removed at midnight because Narendra Modi feared an investigation into the Rafale scam. The truth has a way of coming out and the Modi government cannot hide from it. They bypassed years of negotiations undertaken by the UPA government for the sole purpose of benefiting Anil Ambani," he added.
Rahul highlighted that the price inflation of a Rafale jet rose from around Rs 500 crore to Rs 1,600 crore and slammed defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman for lying in the Parliament.
"She blatantly lied in the Parliament and claimed that the price of the Rafale deal is a secret, while, Dassault's annual report openly states the price," he said.
The Supreme Court on 14 December, 2018, had dismissed all petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the Rafale deal with France, stating that there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the deal. The top court said it was not its job to go into the issue of pricing.
The Congress party had, earlier in January, released an audio clip claiming that Parrikar possessed all files related to the deal and Congress party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed that Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane could be heard speaking another person about the deal in the clip.
The Congress also claimed that in the audio clip Rane divulges that Parrikar, who was the defence minister when the Rafale deal was signed in 2016 between India and France, had "all files related to the deal in his bedroom."
Rane later hit back at the Congress, asserting the audio tape to be doctored and that Parrikar had made no mention about the Rafale deal or its documents.
Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar also wrote to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi saying, "I feel let down that you have used this visit for your petty political gains. In the five minutes you spent with me, neither did you mention anything about Rafale, nor did we discuss anything related to it."
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Updated Date: Jan 30, 2019 18:01:47 IST