'Less than 6 hrs left for your deadline on the Rafale JPC to run out,' Rahul Gandhi remindes Arun Jaitley.
New Delhi: In an ensuing war of words with BJP over the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday posted a bitter reminder to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with six hours left in his 24-hour deadline to set up an all-party lawmakers’ panel.
Young India is waiting for a decision on a joint parliamentary committee on the Rafale deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi told Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday, a day after he gave him 24 hours to "check and revert" on the issue. The challenge was in response to Finance Minister’s 15 questions for the Congress in a Facebook post accusing Rahul Gandhi of "peddling untruth" on the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Dear Mr Jaitley,— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 30, 2018
Less than 6 hrs left for your deadline on the #Rafale JPC to run out.
Young India is waiting. I hope you're busy convincing Modi Ji and Anil Ambani Ji about why they should listen to you & approve this! @ArunJaitley
On Wednesday evening, the Congress president had dared Arun Jaitley to call a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into what he called the "great Rafale robbery". Rahul said he would wait for a response for 24 hours.
The Congress president, in his tweet, also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani, without naming the Reliance Group chairman. He accused PM Modi of "protecting his friend".
Mr Jaitley, thanks for bringing the nation’s attention back to the GREAT #RAFALE ROBBERY! How about a Joint Parliamentary Committee to sort it out? Problem is, your Supreme Leader is protecting his friend, so this may be inconvenient. Do check & revert in 24 hrs. We’re waiting!— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 29, 2018
Indian Youth Congress workers have gathered outside the AICC office in preparation for a protest march to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence on the issue.
BJP president Amit Shah described JPC as "Jhoothi Party Congress" and accused Rahul Gandhi of pushing "lies" to fool the nation. "But the nation's IQ is higher than yours!" he tweeted.
The Congress, which has launched a frontal attack on the government over the Rafale issue, is undertaking a pan India campaign to “apprise people" on the deal.
Congress leaders are fanning out across the country, holding press conferences which will be followed by plans for district and state level agitations on the issue.
In Delhi, the Congress is holding protests outside its headquarters and will march towards the Prime Minister’s house with top party leaders expected to participate in the agitation.
The political row is centred around the deal for 36 Rafale jets from France's Dassault Aviation. According to the Congress, BJP was allegedly involved wrongdoings ranging from the selection of a private firm and cost overruns to lack of transparency in releasing finer details of the deal.
According to Rahul Gandhi, the price of the jets is higher than what was negotiated by the previous Congress-led UPA government for 126 aircraft. He further alleges that the deal was sealed at a higher price at a loss to the taxman to favour "a businessman".
Anil Ambani, on his part, has rejected Rahul Gandhi's allegations. He has emphasised that the government had no role in the Rafale-manufacturing French firm Dassault picking up his company as a local partner.