The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday dismissed Congress President Rahul Gandhi's allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal and termed those as height of shamelessness and irresponsibility. The saffron party further asserted the e-mail Gandhi cited to criticise the prime minister referred to some chopper deal and not the purchase of the fighter aircraft.
The European aircraft manufacturer is under a needle of suspicion in deals finalised during the previous Congress-led government, senior party leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, as he put Airbus whose internal e-mail was cited by the Congress president, in a dock.
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He further asked Gandhi to answer how he got hold of the company's internal communication and accused him of acting as a "lobbyist" of foreign firms.
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Speaking to reporters soon after Gandhi's press conference, Prasad also took strong exception to the Congress leader charging Modi with "treason".
The BJP had serious differences with former prime ministers, who came from the Gandhi family, over several "murky" defence deals signed during their term but never accused them of treason, he said.
"He (Rahul Gandhi) has thrown muck at his own face by abusing our honest prime minister... We will expose his lies before the public," he said.
Reliance rejects Rahul Gandhi's allegations
Rejecting allegations levelled by Rahul Gandhi, Reliance Defence said that the purported email being referred by the Congress party regarding the discussion between Airbus and Reliance Defence was actually regarding Civil and Defence Helicopter Programs under ‘Make in India'.
"Discussion on proposed MoU was clearly with reference to cooperation between Airbus Helicopter and Reliance. It had no connection whatsoever with Government to Government Agreement between France and India for 36 Rafale aircraft," Reliance Defence said in a statement.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gandhi had accused Modi of acting as a "middleman" of Anil Ambani in the Rafale jet deal, as he cited the e-mail to claim the businessman was aware of the MoU before India and France signed it. He also accused Modi of "treason".
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(With agency inputs)