New Delhi: Calling her speech a ‘must watch’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped praise on Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her fiery “point-by-point” rebuttal to the Congress’s charges on the Rafale deal in Parliament. “Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech in the Parliament demolishes the campaign of calumny on Rafale,” said PM Modi, sharing a video of her (Sitharaman) speech on Twitter.

Echoing similar views, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also appreciated Sitharaman saying,”Well done! Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji, for an outstanding performance. You demolished the fake campaign. We are all proud of your performance.”

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah also congratulated the defence minister for ‘bringing the truth to the nation’. “A lie goes only so far and no further. Defence Minister Sitharaman has completely demolished Congress party’s lies and misinformation campaign on Rafale with her excellent speech loaded with facts. I congratulate her for bringing the truth to the nation,”said Shah.

Contrary to PM Modi, Shah and Jaitley Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that the Defence Minister did not answer any of his posers on the Rafale deal and “ran away”. “The defence minister did not answer any of the questions I asked on the Rafale deal. She did not even take the name of Anil Ambani,” he told reporters outside Parliament.

Earlier on Friday,  Sitharaman gave a point-by-point rebuttal over the charges levelled against the Centre in connection with the Rafale fighter jets deal. Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi for terming her ‘jhoothi’ and PM Narendra Modi ‘chor’, she said, “The PM is not corrupt, no one has the right to call him ‘chor’.”

“I don’t have a ‘khandan’ to boast on. PM also comes from a poor background. He has come here from hard work. I have my honour intact. PM has his honour intact. We have all come from normal backgrounds,” she said amid ruckus in Lok Sabha.

In her two-hour-long reply, Sitharaman also spoke on price of the fighter aircraft and HAL not getting the offset contract, and alleged that the Congress stalled the deal when it was in power as it “didn’t get money” and ignored national security.