Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday hit back at Rahul Gandhi over his “dalali” remark, saying those who “focused on profiteering” in defence deals fully understood the meaning of the word and that the BJP does not intend to use the army’s “valour” for elections.
Needling the Congress on the various defence scams during its stint in power, he said when he took over as defence minister, he found “dalali” in several deals.
“When I became the minister and looked into it, I realised that there was dalali and scam in submarine deal, then in (AgustaWestland) helicopter there was dalali. There were allegations of dalali in Pilatus training aircraft (deal). After that in Embraer aircraft. Those who only focused on dalali (profiteering) fully understand what the word dalali means.
“The BJP government does not understand this....this is why we don’t intend to use the valour of the Indian Army in any election,” Parrikar said.
Gandhi had recently attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Delhi, saying: “Jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strike kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai. (You are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong)”.
Rahul’s remarks that the Modi government was “profiteering” from the blood of soldiers had drawn criticism from the BJP, which accused him of insulting the armed forces.
However, Rahul and his party have maintained that they support the military action but denounced “political propaganda” on the issue.