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Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) of running "parallel negotiations" with the French side.
"PMO was involved in Rafale negotiation, it is open and shut case," said the Congress chief while addressing the media in Delhi on Friday. "PM was guilty in Rafale deal," he added.
"Why is that the President of France has called him (PM Modi) a thief and why is it that the Defence Ministry 'unko chor bula rahi hai'?Toh aap ja ke unse poochiye please," Gandhi said.
#WATCH Rahul Gandhi on PM Modi says 'you people are rattled because corruption cases have been brought out: Do I look rattled to you? Please take a good look at the PM and take a good look at me and figure out who looks rattled. pic.twitter.com/grv4qlGeNY— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2019
Gandhi's comments came a day after a news report claimed that the defence ministry had objected to “parallel parleys” by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) with the French authorities.
Gandhi said the news report “makes it crystal clear that the Prime Minister was conducting parallel negotiations” with the French on Rafale deal.
Responding to a question on the Enforcement Directorate interrogating his brother-in-law Robert Vadra in a money laundering case and the government's sanction to prosecute former finance Minister P Chidambaram in the INX MEDIA case, Gandhi said, "The government can use the law against everyone, including his brother-in-law Robert Vadra and former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram, but must answer questions on the Rafale deal."
PM Modi on Thursday dubbed the opposition alliance as "mahamilawat" (grand adulteration) and said that those believing in healthy democracy will stay away from it just like healthy people keep off "milawat" (food adulteration).
In a veiled attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi, the Prime Minister called him a "thief" who has been scolding the "watchman" and rebutted his charges on Rafale fighter jet deal, saying the opposition party was bidding for another company, and that is why, they want the deal cancelled.
"The people of India have seen the work a government with a full majority can do. They have seen the work of NDA (National Democratic Alliance). And now, they (the opposition) are trying to form a government of 'mahamilawat'. People do not want a 'mahamilawat' government of those who assembled in Kolkata.
"The way people keep distance from adulterated food, those who believe in healthy democracy will also stay away from them," Modi said while replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks to President's address.
(With inputs from agencies)