New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday held a protest outside All India Congress Committee (AICC) office in the national capital, demanding an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on Rafale issue. This comes a day after the Supreme Court dismissed petitions filed by former ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, which sought a review of the earlier verdict of the Court on the issue, and gave a clean-chit to the Narendra Modi-led Central government.
According to reports, BJP will also hold a nationwide workers’ programme on Saturday to seek Gandhi’s apology over his “lies” on the Rafale issue.
BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav told reporters that the Congress and Gandhi were “exposed” by the apex court’s verdict and they should now tender an apology. He also mocked the Congress’s demand for a probe in the issue, noting that the court, in a unanimous verdict, rejected the petitions seeking a probe in the purchase of Rafale fighter aircraft and also quashed the pleas for a review of its order.
On Thursday, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad came down heavily on Rahul Gandhi over the issue. He said, “Earlier he (Rahul Gandhi) created a furore saying that Modiji gave the deal to Reliance. Then Dassault said that decision was taken by them, not the Indian Govt. His next lie was former French President Francois Hollande has called PM a ‘thief’, which Hollande denied.”
“Rahul Gandhi lied in Parliament that France President Emmanuel Macron told him that the deal can be disclosed. Rahul Gandhi not only used Reliance and Dassault in his lies but also the current and former Presidents of France,” he added.
Earlier this year, when the Supreme Court agreed to review its December verdict based on the review petitions, then-Congress chief Rahul Gandhi claimed a moral victory and being buoyed by that, he said: “The Supreme Court has made it clear that chowkidarji has committed a theft” in Amethi. BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi filed a case of contempt of court against Rahul Gandhi later.
Rahul Gandhi expressed regret for “incorrectly” attributing his jibe to the Supreme Court. The Court, however, was not happy with the apology. “If you have made a mistake admit it. What is the meaning of the expression of regret withing brackets,” the bench had said.