Amid the ongoing row over Rafale deal, Rajasthan minister Jaswant Singh Yadav alleged that Congress president Rahul Gandhi was “disturbed” that it was India and not Pakistan which had acquired the fighter jets. Addressing a meeting in Alwar on Saturday, Yadav was quoted by ANI as saying: “There was Rafale deal. These are fighter planes which are acquired after great difficulty. Pakistan did not acquire it. Rahul Gandhi is disturbed that Modi ji and not Pakistan received it.”
Referring to a purported conversation between Gandhi and then US ambassador Timothy Roemer in 2009 in which the former allegedly said saffron terror was a bigger threat than the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Yadav accused the Congress president of trying to please Pakistan by insulting Hindus.
“He (Rahul Gandhi) says Hindus are terrorists. What will such a man do by becoming PM? He tells people of India that Hindus are terrorists. What does it mean? If you want to please Pakistan why are you insulting us?” he was quoted as saying.
Elections to Rajasthan’s 200-seat assembly will be held on December 7. With elections scheduled to be held in four other states this year, the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal has become a hot-button issue and has led to a war of words between the Congress and BJP.
Last week, Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being a “chowkidaar” for Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani and called him a “corrupt person”. His attack came after French newsportal Mediapart reported that a top official of Dassault Aviation had explained to his staff in May 2017 that the firm’s joint venture with Ambani’s Reliance group for discharging offsets in the Rafale deal was a “condition”, “imperative and obligatory” to win the deal for 36 aircraft from India.
On Saturday, Gandhi visited HAL headquarters in Bengaluru and addressed a small gathering of present and former employees. At the meeting, he accused the NDA government of failing to acknowledge the state-run aircraft manufacturing firm’s contributions while questioning its capacity to produce Rafale fight jet.