High drama was witnessed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launching a tirade on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal and alleging he did not have the “guts” to face Parliament and “was hiding in his room”.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit back to accuse Gandhi of having a “legacy of lying” and “repeating falsehood” and alleged that “conspirators” of past defence scams are now raising fingers at others.
Gandhi cited a purported audio tape of a Goa minister on the Rafale deal which he refused to authenticate, but sought a JPC probe into the issue.
The Congress leader was disallowed from playing the purported audio tape by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, after Jaitley objected to the same unless Gandhi authenticated it and faced expulsion in case it is found to be false and fabricated.
“Why did you give this contract to your dear friend Mr AA and cost the exchequer Rs 30,000 crore….”
“It is very clear that the Prime Minister does not have the guts to come to Parliament and confront questions. The Defence Minister hides behind AIADMK members, the Prime Minister hides in his room,” Gandhi alleged in the Lok Sabha.
Jaitley hit back alleging that “conspirators” of past defence scams are now raising fingers at the Narendra Modi government and quoted the Supreme Court judgement to say that all charges have been negated.
“There are some people who have a natural dislike for truth. Every word spoken for the last six months on this subject, including in this House (by them) are false….He has a legacy of speaking falsehood,” Jaitley said.
He said that Gandhi has a “natural dislike for truth” and had earlier “manufactured” his conversation with the former French President, which was denied by the French government.
“We are all utterly disappointed because every word he has said has been denied by the Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court speaks on an issue, it is the last word,” the Finance Minister said.