New Delhi, Sept 22: Striking back at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi who called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "thief", Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the entire Gandhi family has been the source of corruption. "No wonder today the buzz is #RahulKaPuraKhandanChor," she said.
#RahulKaPuraKhandanChor has been trending on social media, with BJP supporters vociferously retaliating to the Gandhi scion's sharp verbal assault on PM Modi earlier in the day. Ex-French President Francois Hollande Calling PM Modi a Thief: Rahul Gandhi Fires Fresh Salvo on Rafale Deal Row.
Addressing a press conference on the Rafale deal row, Rahul Gandhi said the recent statements of former French president Francois Hollande has left no doubt in the minds of people that the "Prime Minister is a thief".
"We're absolutely convinced that the Prime Minister of India is corrupt. This question is now clearly settled in the mind of the Indian people that 'desh ka chowkidaar' chor hai," Gandhi said.
The Congress president's attack was based on Hollande's statement quoted in French journal Mediapart, where he claimed that the Indian government left Dassault Aviation with "no other option" but to choose Reliance Defence Ltd as the offset partner.
Below is the statement of Hollande which has left the Indian government in dock:
Former French President François Hollande contradicts the Indian government. According to him, Anil Ambani (Reliance Defence) was not chosen by Dassault : "We didn't have a choice. We took the partner that was given to us" #Rafalehttps://t.co/YX1rMQlqvk
— julien bouissou (@jubouissou) September 21, 2018
"This has proved that the entire Cabinet, including Nirmala Sitharaman and Arun Jaitley, have been spinning a web of lies to save the Prime Minister from getting exposed," Gandhi said, adding that the Rafale deal was re-negotiated in 2015 to "benefit bankrupt Anil Ambani".
The BJP has taken offence to the "language" used by Gandhi against Modi. Apart from Sitharaman's strong rebuttal, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said "the man who is out on bail (in National Herald case)" has no right to point fingers at the PM.