New Delhi: The exchange of heated arguments over the Rafale issue in the Parliament, that included a series of claims and counter-claims from Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, also witnessed an attack of abbreviation jibes from both sides. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Takes Dip Into Sea With Fishermen in Kerala | SEE PHOTOS
Rahul accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of benefitting his “businessman friend” Anil Ambani by snatching the Rs 30,000-crore offset contract from the HAL and giving it to Ambani’s Reliance Defence. Also Read - Fact Check: Is The Govt Providing Loan Upto Rs 2 Lakh Under 'Pradhan Mantri Yojana Loan' Scheme?
However, during his speech, Rahul was told by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that he could not name businessman Anil Ambani as it was against the rules of the House. Also Read - Breaking News February 24 News And Updates: Paramilitary Forces in Haryana to Stay Till Feb End, Says Govt
On this, he asked if he could refer to him as “AA”.
He then used the abbreviation several times during his speech, once or twice naming Ambani and then showing to correct himself by saying “sorry, AA”.
Gandhi targeted PM Modi, claiming that he “does not have guts” to come to Parliament to confront questions on the issue and “hides” in his room.
Following Gandhi’s hard-hitting attack on the government, Jaitley led the government’s charge in a counter-attack as he referred to alleged defence scams during the Congress rule and said the “conspirators” of past defence scams had the “audacity” to target the Modi dispensation.
Jaitley said that since Rahul Gandhi has been using abbreviations, he would like continue the trend.
Targeting Gandhi, the BJP leader said he would have played in the lap of ‘Q’, an apparent reference to Ottavio Quattrocchi — allegedly involved in the Bofors case.
Jaitley also mentioned the recent disclosure allegedly made by AgustaWestland accused Christian Michel and referred to terms like “Mrs G” and “the Italian lady” and “her son” to attack the Congress leadership.
Attacking Gandhi, he said, “There are some people who have a natural dislike for the 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.”
The House also witnessed high drama after Gandhi sought the speaker’s permission to play an audio tape, purportedly of a Goa minister, on the Rafale deal.
Jaitley said the tape was “false and fabricated”, asking Gandhi if he could authenticate it. He might have to face a privilege motion and even expulsion if it turned out to be fabricated, the BJP leader added.