Amit Shah clobbers Cong over Rafale verdict ‘rebuke’, seeks Rahul Gandhi’s apology
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has launched a stinging offensive targeting the Congress and Rahul Gandhi for their campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter jet deal. Hours after the Supreme Court declined to order a probe in the Rs 59,000 crore deal for the second time in a year, BJP boss Amit Shah too joined his party’s effort to clobber 49-year-old Gandhi.
In two tweets, Amit Shah described the top court’s verdict on a review petition on Thursday as a “befitting reply” to leaders and parties that “rely on malicious and baseless campaigns”.
“Now, it has been proved that disruption of Parliament over #Rafale was a sham. The time could have been better utilised for the welfare of people,” Amit Shah tweeted.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court has dismissed review requests filed against its December 2018 verdict not to order a criminal probe into the deal, holding that it did not find anything wrong in the deal to buy the fighter jet made by French firm Dassault Aviation.
The judges had also underlined that they could not lose sight of the fact that it was dealing with a contract for aircraft that had been pending before different governments for quite some time. The top court’s judgment is effectively seen as a clean chit to the government.
The Congress had claimed the NDA government had bought the fighter jets in an overpriced deal as compared to the price negotiated during the previous UPA government’s term. The judges brushed aside this argument too, pointing out that this would be akin to comparing apples with oranges.
WATCH | ‘Rahul, Congress should apologise’: BJP after SC’s verdict on Rafale
The BJP boss construed the Supreme Court observations in the three related cases as a rebuke.
“After today’s rebuke from SC, Congress and its leader, for whom politics is above national interest must apologise to the nation,” Amit Shah said.
The top court did reprimand the former Congress chief in a contempt case over his remarks earlier this year that appeared to attribute his “chowkidar chor hai” slogan to the top court. The slogan was at the centre of Rahul Gandhi’s campaign against the Narendra Modi government in the run up to the national elections earlier this year.
The Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 seats, against the Congress’ 52 seats in the Lok Sabha. Rahul Gandhi stepped down as Congress president soon after.
The Congress, however, is standing ground. Its lead spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the BJP should stop celebrating and start probing the deal. “The SC has said that it is not a competent authority to investigate Rafale,” Surjewala said. Only a Joint Parliamentary Committee can find the answers to the questions that the Congress has posed for which the BJP has no answer.”