New Delhi / Rahul Gandhi must apologise, BJP fumes after Supreme Court's Rafale verdict

India Today : Nov 14, 2019, 02:48 PM

The BJP says Rahul Gandhi should apologise after the Supreme Court gave the government a clean chit on the Indo-French defence deal for Rafale fighter jets.

Rahul Gandhi and the Congress raked up the deal relentlessly in the run-up to this year's general election to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi of crony capitalism.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court dismissed review petitions against its verdict in the Rafale deal on the grounds that they lacked merit. The pleas had sought re-examination of a December 14, 2018 verdict that said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

The court also closed a contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing his "chowkidar chor hai" remark against Prime Minister Modi to the top court.

Later, at a press conference, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked Rahul for an apology and said the BJP wished to know who was behind the Congressman's campaign.

Prasad said Rahul had "stooped to the shameful extent of misquoting the Supreme Court deliberately".

Other BJP leaders, too, tore into Rahul Gandhi and the Congress: for example, JP Nadda, the party's working president, said Rahul and his party had "tried had to mislead the country" on the Rafale issue "from road to Parliament."

But truth had prevailed, he said.

"The allegation of corruption in the Rafale deal was nothing but an attempt to malign the clean and honest image of image of PM Narendra Modi and his government," said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

"The people of India will not forgive the Congress for their slanderous campaign and calumny. The Congress should apologise for misleading the people," he said.