Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi for his attack on the government and the Prime Minister over the Rafale deal, the BJP Friday called Rahul Gandhi a “serial liar” and “a manufacturer of fake news”. Speaking to reporters at the BJP headquarters, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said Gandhi “cannot substitute facts with lies” and should “stop lying”.
Citing comments of Dassault Aviation’s CEO Eric Trappier, Goyal said the French government and Dassault have “exposed” Gandhi’s “fake news”.
“His repeated lies and falsehood after falsehood will not change reality,” Goyal said. He said people of India trust Narendra Modi and the Congress cannot create a perception against the Prime Minister over the Rafale issue. Calling Congress an “issue-less” party, he said the leadership of the Opposition party was bereft of truth and was no substitute to Modi and his “good governance”.
Goyal’s remarks came a day after the Dassault CEO said his firm’s joint venture with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group represented only around 10 per cent of the offset investments under the Rafale deal and it was in partnership talks with 100 other companies.
In a series of tweets on the “lies”, Goyal said: “The series of lies on Rafale that are being spread by Mr Rahul Gandhi are before the nation and the world. They twisted a French media house’s report on Rafale, which the CEO of Dassault has himself said has been blatant twisting of facts… The second lie was on the Supreme Court judgement. The Supreme Court has refused to discuss finer details which are confidential in the interest of our national security and emphasized that pricing is not what they require.”
He said Gandhi’s “lie that the ex-French President called our Prime Minister a thief is the worst diplomatic gaffe that a senior political leader could do. It is shameful, that in their desperation, the principle opposition party chose to involve leaders of a friendly nation”.
Goyal said it has become clear now that Gandhi has been beating a dead horse and manufacturing fake news. He said the government, maintaining the highest standards of transparency and integrity in the Rafale deal, bought 36 fighter aircraft expeditiously due to reasons of national security and, at the same time, negotiated better terms than what the UPA government had managed.
He also reiterated the BJP’s charge that the Congress had cancelled the deal with Dassault when it was in power because the French firm did not agree to give benefits to a defence dealer linked to Robert Vadra, Gandhi’s brother-in-law. Gandhi’s attacks on the Modi government, he said, were an attempt to deflect attention from this.