Mumbai: Armed with the supreme court's ruling on the Rafale issue, BJP activists on Saturday staged a protest here seeking an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi had been critical of the Modi government over the deal to purchase 36 fighter jets from France's Dassault Aviation.
The protest was held as part of the BJP plan to hold nationwide demonstrations on the issue. On the occasion, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said Gandhi's allegations had brought ignominy to the country.
He said Gandhi's apology to the SC for dragging its name in the political discourse on Rafale is not enough. "They (Gandhi and the Congress) tried to humiliate the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has given the country a place of pride in the world, only out of their self-interest. They brought ignominy to India in the world," Patil said. "Apologising before the court alone won't suffice. Gandhi and the Congress should apologise to the country," he added.
The protesters raised slogans against the former Congress president calling him a "thief". In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections this year, Gandhi had raised the Rafale issue aggressively. He often targetted the PM with his "chowkidar chor hai" jibe over the purchase of Rafale jets. Patil said the Central government struck the Rafale deal to strengthen the national security.
The apex court on Thursday gave a clean chit to the Modi government on the purchase of 36 fully-loaded Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation, rejecting the petitions seeking review of its last year order.