Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi "does not have guts" to come to Parliament to confront questions on Rafale issue and "hides" in his room.
Initiating a discussion in Lok Sabha, Gandhi said the nation is asking PM direct question on Rafale deal. “Prime Minister in an interview said that no one is accusing him personally on Rafale. Entire nation is asking a direct question to the PM,” Gandhi said.
The Congress president also sought permission to play a purported audio tape of a Goa minister on Rafale but refused to authenticate it, prompting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to accuse him of “speaking lies” repeatedly.
"He knows it is wrong and hence is scared to authenticate it," Jaitley said, adding "this man lies repeatedly".
The Congress leader also rejected Modi's claim in an interview that there was no personal allegation against him.
“He (Modi) spoke for 90 minutes in a staged interview but still did not answer questions on the Rafale issue," Gandhi said reiterating his party's demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the matter.
"We demand a JPC probe into matter. There is no reason for BJP leaders to feel afraid. The country will get to know that Modi put Rs 30,000 crore in the pockets of 'double A'. The contract was snatched from HAL (a government-run unit)," he said, alleging corruption in the contract.
'Double A' was an apparent reference to Anil Ambani, whom Gandhi repeatedly referred to in his speech before Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked him not to name him as he is not a member of the House.
Gandhi also claimed that defence ministry officials had objected to the renegotiated deal on the purchase of Rafale aircraft.
He also accused AIADMK members, who were protesting in the Well of the House over the Cauvery issue, of trying to protect Modi.
Taking a dig at Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was present in the House, Gandhi said she was "hiding" behind the AIADMK members while Modi "hides" in his room.
(With inputs from PTI)