Rahul dares Modi for debate on Rafale

Amethi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court order to review the Rafale deal on merits saying that “truth has prevailed” and challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a debate on the deal.

Speaking to the media after filing his nomination papers here, Gandhi said, “A few days ago, the Prime Minister gave an interview to a news channel. On questions related to the Rafale deal, he said that the Supreme Court had given him a clean chit.”

“And today the Supreme Court has accepted that there is some corruption in the deal,” he said.

Launching a direct attack on Modi, the Congress leader said the Supreme Court order had made it clear that the watchman (Modi) allowed the theft to happen. “Names of two people are likely to come out if investigations take place in the deal,” he added.

The Congress leader also challenged the Prime Minister for a debate on the Rafale deal, on demonetisation and on BJP President Amit Shah’s son’s rising fortunes since the saffron party came to power at the Centre.

Gandhi was accompanied by his mother Sonia Gandhi, sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and brother-in-law Robert Vadra during the filing of his nomination papers at the District Magistrate’s office.

Priyanka later tweeted, “Today for the nomination of my brother, our entire family was present. Some relations are close to the heart. For my father, it (Amethi) was his karmabhumi, and for us it is a pure place.”

Gandhi, who arrived in Amethi’s Munshiganj guest house earlier in the day, held a massive five-km long road show in his Parliamentary constituency accompanied by his sister and brother-in-law and their children Rehan and Mariya on a truck. Huge hoardings declaring Rahul Gandhi as the ‘future Prime Minister’ dotted the route.

In what was apparently a massive show of strength by the Congress in Amethi, thousands of supporters braved scorching heat to follow the convoy, shouting slogans and showering rose petals. Party workers also carried cut-outs of Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in their hands.

The convoy also included members of the Ambedkar Sewa Samiti carrying blue flags with Sonia Gandhi’s photograph and the slogan ‘Ab Nyay Hoga’.

Rahul Gandhi is facing a stiff challenge from Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Smriti Irani, who is contesting against him for the second time. Rahul Gandhi defeated Irani by a margin of over one lakh votes in 2014.

Rahul Gandhi has represented Amethi thrice in the Lok Sabha since 2004. Sonia Gandhi represented the seat before him from 1999 to 2004.

Amethi votes on May 6, in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.

Besides Amethi, Rahul Gandhi is also contesting from Kerala’s Wayanad.