After a day of heated debate on the controversial Rafale deal Parliament, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday again picked up the gauntlet and said that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke for two hours and still did not answer the two questions posed by him on the Rafale deal.
Gandhi’s remarks came as he shared an “edited” video on his Twitter account of the Parliament debate on the Rafale deal. In the video, he is seen posing two questions: Who took away the contract from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); and whether Indian Air Force (IAF) officers objected to the changes in the deal.
Sitharaman and other Bharatiya Janata Party ministers are shown to be sitting silently in response to the questions.
“Watch and share this video. Let every Indian ask the Prime Minister and his ministers these questions,” the Congress President said.
Gandhi, on Friday, had said that Sitharaman evaded his questions on the controversial Rafale deal and “ran away” when asked a pointed question if the IAF objected to the changes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made in “two minutes” to the deal, negotiated over eight years.
“Instead of answering the question, she started doing drama — ‘Oh I was insulted. I was called a liar’. My simple question was that after such a long negotiation by the Air Force chief, Defence Minister, secretaries and Air Force officers, did those who did the whole negotiation object when Modi did the bypass surgery to the negotiated deal,” Gandhi had said.
Sitharaman dismissed all allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal and in a reply lasting over two-and-half hours in the Lok Sabha on Friday to a debate on the deal with French manufacturer Dassault, said: “Bofors was a scam, but Rafale was a decision taken in national interest. Rafale will bring back Modi to build a new India and remove corruption.”