National

‘Rahul should apologise for spreading lies’

Guwahati : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Monday demanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi to apologise to the nation for “misleading” the people by spreading “lies and misinformation” on the Rafale fighter jet deal.

Adityanath attacked the Congress for not accepting the apex court’s verdict and termed it as “unfortunate”.

The Congress has demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe the issue.

The senior BJP leader, however, did not respond to a query on whether the Congress’ relentless campaign on the deal had any impact on the recent assembly elections in five states, where the saffron party suffered losses.

“Congress President Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the people of India … Congress tried to create misconceptions among the people by spreading lies and misinformation.

“They (Congress) tried to push the government (Centre) to the dock and spread misinformation about the Army and country’s security,” Adityanath said at a press conference here.

He claimed the Supreme Court had cleared the NDA government at the Centre “on the three contentious aspects” of the Rafale deal and that the Congress should respect the verdict.

“It raises questions on the Congress’ leadership. The Congress is the oldest party and their leaders are expected to be more responsible. But unfortunately in an irresponsible manner, it is telling a lie 100 times to make it a truth,” Adityanath said.

The process to purchase the Rafale jets started in 2007, but it was inordinately delayed by the UPA government headed by the Congress only because they could not find any middle man like Quattrocchi or Christian Michel, both of whom are accused in scams, the UP CM alleged.

Without naming anyone, Adityanath alleged that all defence deals done by the Congress government had the involvement of middlemen and that Ottavio Quattrocchi is very close to the top leadership of the Congress party.

“In 2014, when Modiji came to power a government-to-government deal was signed and the process was expeditiously completed. The Supreme Court cleared the deal and acknowledged the facts related to the security of the country. Congress played with the country’s security,” he said.

When asked if Rahul Gandhi raking up the Rafale issue aggressively in all of his public meetings had any impact on the recent Assembly election defeats the BJP suffered, Adityanath refrained from giving a direct reply.

“The Congress is spreading misinformation in the entire country. Rahul Gandhi crossed all levels of decency. The statements made against the Prime Minister were unpardonable crime. He (Gandhi) should apologise,” he added.

Adityanath questioned the opposition’s demand for a probe by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in the Rafale deal, saying the “JPC is only a committee” and that the Supreme Court has already examined all the aspects before okaying the deal.

“Why did Rahul Gandhi not go to the Supreme Court before? If there is anything wrong why not discuss it in Parliament? Our government is ready to discuss it.

“Congress is escaping a discussion. The only intention of the Congress is to stall the Parliament proceedings,” he added.

On Friday, the Supreme Court had dismissed any corruption in the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale jet deal and dismissed all petitions asking for an investigation.

The Congress has been relentlessly alleging that the government scrapped the previous deal to sign a new one to help businessman Anil Ambani’s company bag an offset contract with Dassault. The costs jumped in this deal, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has alleged.

But the court, while dismissing the need for a probe, said, “There is no evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity.

 PTI 

 17/12/2018

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