Some took photocopies of file; Cong says file stolen from Defence Ministry: Rajnath

Unnao (Uttar Pradesh): Some people managed to take photocopies of a file from the Defence Ministry, but the Congress party is claiming that the file was stolen, said Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday, in an apparent reference to the ‘file theft’ controversy over Rafale deal.

Singh, who was addressed a rally here, slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for levelling corruption allegations against Prime Minister Narendra in finalising Rafale fighter jets deal. “Some people managed to take photocopies of a file. Now, the Congress is claiming the file has been stolen from the Defence Ministry,” he said.

“Rahul talks a lot about Rafale jets these days. He has conveniently forgotten the fact that his party has not bought a single next-generation fighter plane in 30 years. However, Prime Minister Modi is the one who did that for the Indian Air Force.”

The Centre on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that certain documents pertaining to the Rafale fighter jets deal were stolen from the Defence Ministry and a probe has been initiated into the matter.

Attorney General (AG), KK Venugopal made the submission during the hearing on review petitions filed by various parties against its December 14, 2018, judgment in which it had refused to order a probe into the deal to procure 36 Rafale fighter planes from France.

Praising Prime Minister Modi for giving a free hand to Indian forces, Singh said: “The airstrikes by the IAF wasn’t a mistake. It was a straight answer to terrorism. Pakistan has understood well that this is new India and no force on the earth can prevent us from answering terrorism.”

“In the recent air strikes carried out by the IAF on the biggest terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pakistan’s Balakot, we didn’t attack the Pakistan army or civilians. We targeted the terror organisation. This shows that we maintain integrity with our neighbouring country,” he said.

Stressing that India has always tried to maintain good relations with Pakistan, Singh said, “We tried to maintain good relations with Pakistan. Even Atal ji went to Pakistan as we wanted a peaceful and good relationship with the neighbouring country. He was of the view that friends can change but neighbours cannot. However, he didn’t get a similar response from Pakistan.”

The Union Minister further criticised the Congress party for raising questions over air strikes and Pulwama attack. “We understand if Pakistan questions us. But, this is hard to digest that our own people are raising fingers on the air strikes. This is a moment when the whole nation should stand united.”

Continuing his tirade against the Congress, Singh said: “No one can accuse Prime Minister Modi of corruption but under the leadership of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, several Congress leaders were named in various scams. Several are in jails, while others are still being interrogated.”