NEW DELHI: The BJP on Monday slammed Rahul Gandhi for speaking “blatant lies” on the Rafale deal and launched a counter attack accusing the Congress president of tax evasion.
BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the allegations levelled by Rahul Gandhi are “reckless and baseless”.
The BJP offensive came hours after Congress president Rahul Gandhi once again attacked the government over the Rafale deal. Accusing the government of stealing taxpayers’ money, Rahul Gandhi challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a debate on the issue of Rafale aircraft deal.
Countering Rahul’s charges, Ravi Shankar Prasad said “Nobody takes him seriously, he is not only lying about the BJP government but also about the France President.”
“The transactions done by the current government under the Rafale deal are 9% less than what the UPA had proposed. It is an established standard of the defence procurement that we don’t answer such questions in Parliament,” Prasad said.
The Union minister attacked the Congress leader over the alleged tax evasion in Young India case and said, “The reason why Rahul Gandhi alleges that PM Modi and other BJP leaders are corrupt is because a company named ‘Young India’ owned by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, that purchased Associated General Limited for Rs 50 lakh is in crisis because of the tax issue. The Income Tax department has opened the 2011-12 assement of the company. The AICC that purchased the company showed an income of just Rs 68 lakhs for 2011-12 but the tax officials believe that tax liability should be Rs 154 crores which is a worry for the Congress leader.”
“Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will have to explain as to how upon a mere transfer of Rs 50 lakh the AICC transferred the entire liability of Rs 90 crore to the Young India company. And again, how is it by that process the entire property of Associated General Limited comes to be owned substantially by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi? This is why the tax department is seeking the revision of that year,” Prasad said.
He further said that if Rahul Gandhi thinks that by levelling allegations of corruption against the Modi government he would get away for his wrongdoings, then the Congress president is mistaken.
Earlier, speaking at a rally in Karnataka, Rahul unleashed a scathing attack on the government over the Rafale deal.
“The Congress has raised several questions on the Rafale deal, accusing the government of compromising with national interests. Rahul Gandhi said, “…let a debate happen between me and Narendra Modi on Rafael deal… I will speak at length for hours,” Gandhi said at “Jana Dwani” (people’s voice) rally organised by the state Congress here in north Karnataka.”
“Chowkidar Hi Bhaagidar Hai. (This watchman is a collaborator),” Rahul said and accused the prime minister of “stealing” taxpayers’ money and giving it to his “friend” whose firm he alleged had bagged a contract in the Rafale deal.