New Delhi: High drama was witnessed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launching a tirade on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal and alleging he did not have the “guts” to face Parliament and “was hiding in his room”.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley hit back to accuse Mr Gandhi of having a “legacy of lying” and “repeating falsehood” and alleged that “conspirators” of past defence scams are now raising fingers at others.
“Why did you give this contract to your dear friend Mr AA and cost the exchequer Rs 30,000 crore. It is very clear that the Prime Minister does not have the guts to come to Parliament and confront questions. The defence minister hides behind AIADMK members, the prime minister hides in his room,” Mr Gandhi alleged in the Lok Sabha.
As Congress members protested in the house and also flew paper planes, on which a warning was issued by the Speaker, Mr Jaitley said “when they say falsehood, they must listen to the truth also”.
Mr Jaitley hit back alleging that “conspirators” of past defence scams are now raising fingers at the Narendra Modi government and quoted the Supreme Court judgement to say that all charges have been negated.
“There are some people who have a natural dislike for truth. Every word spoken for the last six months on this subject, including in this House (by them) are false....He has a legacy of speaking falsehood,” Mr Jaitley said.
“We are all utterly disappointed because every word he has said has been denied by the Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court speaks on an issue, it is the last word,” the finance minister said.
Earlier Gandhi said: “We demand a JPC in this matter. I tell the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders that there is nothing to worry. The truth will come out. The country will know that Narendra Modi, on whom they relied, will know that he bypassed the entire procedure and gave Rs 30,000 crore to AA. The PM should come to the House and give answers...the entire country is pointing out at you Mr Modi,” Mr Gandhi said.
The government later rejected a demand in the Lok Sabha for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the alleged scam in Rafale jet deal.