New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter jet deal claiming that he “does not have guts” to come to Parliament to confront questions on the issue and “hides” in his room.

Initiating a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Rafale issue, the Congress leader also rejected PM Modi’s claim in an interview that there was no personal allegation against him, saying this is not true as the entire nation is asking him direct question.

“He (Modi) spoke for 90 minutes in a staged interview but still did not answer questions on the Rafale issue,” Gandhi said.

Is it not true that defence ministry officials objected to the new price of Rs 1600 crore, Gandhi said, accusing PM Modi of favouring his “dear friend” and “failed businessman” Anil Ambani.

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Questioning the Prime Minister over the Rafale deal Gandhi said, “Rafale was chosen after eight years of work done by the Indian Air Force (IAF). 126 aircrafts were needed but the dead was chopped down to 36. Why? Did the national security change or did the IAF ask the government that we do not want more planes?

Gandhi said that the whole nation is questioning the Prime Minister over the deal and demanded a JPC to probe the deal.

The Congress president also sought permission to play a purported audio tape of a Goa minister on the Rafale deal but refused to authenticate it, prompting Union Minister Arun Jaitley to accuse him speaking “lies repeatedly”.

“There are some people who have a natural dislike for truth, from the first to the last word, every word spoken (by Gandhi) is a lie,” said Jaitley.

“Some people and families understand arithmetic of money but cannot comprehend issues of national security. Conspirators of various defence deals have the audacity to raise questions against others,” he added.

Jaitley also mentioned the AgustaWestland and National Herald cases to make veiled attack on Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.