New Delhi: Hitting back at the Congress over its allegations on the controversial Rafale deal, the BJP on Tuesday alleged that Rafale documents were recovered during a raid in 2016 from the residence of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, who is a close friend of Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Rabert Vadra.Also Read - Sonu Sood Once Praised by BJP, Now Considered Tax Evader: Shiv Sena on IT Raids at Actor's Properties

“Rafale documents were recovered from Robert Vadra’s close friend Sanjay Bhandari during a raid in 2016 at his house, how did these confidential documents reach there? Bhandari’s company ‘offset India solutions’ was red flagged in 2014 by Modi government,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Also Read - PM Modi's Birthday: BJP Workers Cut 71-Feet-Long Syringe-Shaped Cake in Bhopal

Addressing a press conference to respond to Congress’ allegations and launch an counter-tirade against the Grand Old Party who yesterday moved the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) demanding registration of case against the Centre over the Rafale deal, Patra drew parallel between the remarks by Rahul Gandhi and some Pakistani leaders, alleging that both wanted the removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Indian politics. Also Read - 24 Brand New Ministers Sworn-in, Taking Bhupendra Patel-Led Gujarat Government's Strength to 25

Patra went on to accuse the Congress of fuelling Pakistan’s attack on India over the controversial Rafale deal and claimed there was a “design” between the Congress and Pakistan whose aim was to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Pakistan’s former interior minister Rehman Malik had yesterday said, “What shd we expect from all these Pro Modi abusers who neither have their own self-respect nor their own national leader Rahul Gandhi whom they want to dump in Pak as he has exposed the JET GATE against PM Modi. RG will be next PM of India if he follows “Jet Gate” properly (sic).” In another tweet, he said, “Sir Rahul is your next PM as he is talking sense in his PC. PM Modi is scared of him. Rahul is going to be your next PM and watch his excellent video I have just posted for all of you (sic).”

Claiming that Vadra’s company acted as a middleman in defence deals during the erstwhile UPA government’s rule, the BJP leader said, “They (Vadra and Bhandari) represent themselves as middlemen at many defence expos but they have not got a big breakthrough yet. The then government wanted that the French firm should accept it (Vadra’s company) as the middleman. But since it did not materialise, the deal with Dassault was cancelled.” Sambit Patra also alleged that two mails were sent to Sanjay Bhandari with travel tickets worth of Rs. 8 lakh for Vadra for an Emirates Flight. The first mail which was sent on Aug 7, 2012 has details of Vadra’s travel plan for Aug 13 by flight no. EK71, Sambit Patra alleged.

It must be noted that while the Congress gave a memorandum to Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K.V. Chowdary seeking a probe into the “corruption” in the deal, Gandhi, who is in his Lok Sabha constituency Amethi, launched a virulent attack on Modi saying the country’s “chowkidar” (watchman) had committed “chori” (theft). In a tweet, he made another veiled attack on Modi, calling him “India’s Commander in Thief.”

Rafale Deal

For the unversed, Rahul Gandhi had raised the Rafale deal issue during the no-confidence debate in Lok Sabha last Friday. Gandhi had said that French President Emmanuel Macron had told him in the presence of other senior leaders that there was no clause that prevented the government from revealing the price of the jets, following which the French government released the statement citing the “secrecy clause”.

Gandhi had also alleged that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had misled the house over the secrecy clause in Rafale deal under pressure from PM Modi. Meanwhile, PM Modi too gave his response after the French government had released its statement saying that it was unfortunate that both the government had to issue clarifications over something so huge which was of national importance.