A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi sharpened his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, Union Railways minister Piyush Goyal on Friday came out all guns blazing against Rahul and called him a ‘serial liar’. In a press briefing held on Friday, Goyal said: “Only an issue-less man can repeat a lie again and again. Even if a lie is repeated 100 times, it can never substitute the truth.”
Goyal said that the government’s deal was better than what the Congress-led UPA had negotiated. “The government negotiated terms which are far better than what was agreed by UPA in 2007 and 2012. We have gotten faster delivery, longer maintenance tenure, better availability of spare parts and much-needed defence capabilities,” Goyal said.
In a press conference held on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi referred to a Mediapart report which suggested that Indian government had made it mandatory for Dassault to pick Reliance as its offset partners. However, Dassault later clarified and said that the report was misinterpreted.
Latching onto that report, Rahul Gandhi said that it was now clear that the Indian Prime Minister was involved in corruption. He said: “In the Rafale deal, the prime minister has indulged in clear-cut corruption and there should be an investigation on it.”
The Congress President also rubbished Dassault’s clarification and said: “Dassault is sitting on a huge contract. Dassault is going to say what the Indian government wants it to say.”
In 2016, India signed an inter-governmental agreement to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft in fly-away condition from France. Soon after the deal was announced, the Congress accused the government of bypassing the key committees and inflating the prices of the deal.
The Congress President has on multiple occasions asked the government to reveal the price of the jets – which the government declined citing national security issues.