New Delhi, Nov 16, 2019: The BJP on Friday demonstrated outside the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in New Delhi seeking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s apology over his "lies" on the Rafale issue, a day after the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to the Narendra Modi-led government in the matter and rejected the petitions for a review of its earlier order.
The saffron party will hold a nationwide workers’ programme on Saturday to press for Gandhi’s apology.
Led by their Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari, BJP leaders and workers raised slogans against the Congress and demanded an apology from it for trying to "malign the image" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The protesters tried to march towards the Congress head office on Akbar Road in Central Delhi but were detained by police and taken to a police station.
"The Congress and its leaders levelled baseless allegations in connection with the Rafale deal to malign the image of the prime minister. But their lies have been exposed after the Supreme Court order," Tiwari said, adding that Congress leaders, specifically Gandhi, should apologise to the BJP.
BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said the Congress and Gandhi had been "exposed" by the apex court’s verdict. He also mocked the Congress’s demand for a probe in the issue, noting that the court, in a unanimous verdict, rejected the petitions seeking a probe in the purchase of Rafale fighter aircraft and also quashed the pleas for a review of its order.
"The allegations (of alleged corruption in Rafale Deal) of Rahul Gandhi have been proven false. Our party cadres will descend to streets across the nation tomorrow, right up to the district level demanding apology from Gandhi for his baseless remarks," said Yadav.
"They have been lying through their teeth. A CAG report and now Supreme Court’s verdict on review petition in government’s favour shows how baseless the allegations were," he alleged.
BJP workers will hold nationwide protests at the district level, Yadav said, adding that the ruling party carried out a similar exercise in Delhi on Friday.
This is the second day that the BJP has upped the ante against the Congress over the Rafale verdict. Soon after the court’s judgment on Thursday, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad not only demanded an "apology to the nation" from Gandhi but also raked up the Bofors ghost by claiming the Delhi High Court judgment that absolved former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of the Bofors scandal was "questionable".
Gandhi and the Congress had made the alleged Rafale scam their single-largest electoral issue in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, claiming that the government indulged in alleged corruption in the deal. Gandhi in his election rallies had repeatedly called Modi "thief".