Rahul Gandhi’s lies on the Rafale deal have acquired legendary status over time. After his allegations were refuted by not only the government but also the Supreme Court, certain sections of the media, the Indian Air Force and even the French government, he still refuses to abandon his ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ narrative.
The Congress President, in his recent interview with News Nation, again displayed his ignorance of the entire matter. He demanded a debate with the Prime Minister over the Rafale deal. Then, after somebody movements which could only be described as mystifying, he said, “I am saying, I have to get books, I have to get books,” eliciting laughter from the interviewers although it was difficult to know whether they were laughing because Rahul Gandhi’s humour (guessing he was trying to be funny) or at him.
After repeating his usual lies on the matter, raking up the late Manohar Parrikar and the cropped The Hindu report and sneaking in accusations of bias against the interviewers in between, Rahul Gandhi was asked by the journalists when they were finally allowed to speak by the Congress President whether he intended to scrap the current deal and renegotiate it in its entirety. In response, Rahul Gandhi admitted that he did not have much knowledge on the matter.
He said, “I am an Opposition leader today, I don’t know the details. Before scrapping the deal, I will have to consult with the Air Force. People who understand these things, I will have to ask them. Look, something or the other has happened. And the Prime Minister should have ordered an inquiry.”
As it turns out, senior officials within the IAF have already given their say on the matter. Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar said in an interview last year, “People are perhaps misinformed. We were a part of the commercial negotiations for Rafale. There is nothing like ₹30,000 crore to any one party. Dassault has to do offsets to a tune of ₹6,500 crore. Not more than that”.
Indian Air Chief B.S. Dhanoa, too, had defended the deal and said that the Supreme Court had given a fine verdict when it dismissed the petitions against the deal. He had said, “Who said we don’t need the Rafale? Government has said it is needed, we have said we need it”. Rafale is a game changer, it is a different level. When it comes into the subcontinent and in this particular sector, it will be the most advanced aircraft,” he added.
Recently, Rahul Gandhi was forced to apologize before the Supreme Court for claiming that the Court had said ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’. Despite the obvious setback, he hasn’t shied away from making allegations against Narendra Modi without knowing the details of the matter as he admitted himself in the interview.
In an interview with India Today, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi parivar had made it clear that his sole objective is to destroy the Prime Minister’s image. Thus far, however, his campaign of slander hasn’t seen such much success.