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Rafale row: By calling PM Modi ‘corrupt’, Rahul Gandhi has smeared black paint on his face, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

The minister's response came hours after Rahul accused the PM of being "corrupt" and asked the latter to come clear on the controversies surrounding the fighter jet deal.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 22, 2018 10:19:32 pm
Ravi Shankar Prasad also accused Rahul of “helping Pakistan” by pressurizing the government to disclose the details related to the deal. (Express file photo)

With the Rafale controversy intensifying, the BJP on Saturday hit back at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his remarks targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and for saying “desh ka chowkidaar chor hai”. In a direct attack against the Congress chief, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said one cannot expect anything from someone who neither has any “quality nor ability”.

“No party president in independent India has used such derogatory words against a prime minister. We cannot expect anything else from him. He neither has ability nor quality and is there due to his family,” Prasad told reporters in the national capital. The minister’s response came hours after Gandhi accused the PM of being “corrupt” and asked the latter to come clear on the controversies surrounding the fighter jet deal.

“By levelling such false allegations (against PM), you have smeared black paint on your face,” Prasad said.

Read | Absolutely convinced PM is ‘corrupt’, he must clarify: Rahul Gandhi on Rafale issue

Prasad also accused Gandhi of “helping Pakistan” by pressurising the government to disclose the details related to the deal. “Rahul wants to help Pakistan. It is my charge with a full sense of responsibility that Rahul Gandhi is playing in the hands of enemies of India by insisting upon disclosure of all weapon system.”

Launching an all-out attack against Congress leader’s family, Prasad said, “What can we expect from a person who is out on bail in corruption cases, looting shares and land along with his mother; a person who chooses to stay silent on corruption cases against his brother-in-law and a person whose family has been named in the Bofors scam?”

Emphasising the need to “expose the lies” of the Congress chief, Prasad said, “Neither the country nor the world will believe Rahul’s words.”

Read | ‘Partnership with Reliance own choice’: Full statement by Dassault Aviation after ex-French president Hollande’s disclosure

He added, “Rahul Gandhi’s family is corrupt. Now that the Narendra Modi government is curbing corruption, he seems to have a problem. Congress is the source of corruption in the country.”

On the French media report which said the Indian government had “proposed” Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rafale fighter jet deal, the BJP minister asserted that the agreement between the two companies was signed in 2012. “Reliance and Dassault had entered into an agreement as early as 2012 when UPA was in power. Rahul Gandhi has not done his homework,” Prasad said. “There was pressure for extraneous considerations for not finalising Rafale deal during UPA rule,” he alleged.

Prasad also ruled out a joint parliamentary committee probe saying it cannot be done to satisfy the ego of an “ill-informed leader”.

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