Congress President Rahul Gandhi continued his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, saying instead of answering his questions, the PM had fled to Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Punjab. Rahul was referring to four questions he had posed to the PM on the controversial Rafale deal on Wednesday. "So it seems our Prime Minister has fled Parliament and his own open book Rafale exam and is instead lecturing students at Lovely University in Punjab, today. I request the students there to, respectfully, ask him to please answer the four questions posed to him by me yesterday," Gandhi tweeted.
So it seems our PM has fled Parliament & his own open book Rafale exam & is instead lecturing students at Lovely Univ. in Punjab, today.
I request the students there to, respectfully, ask him to please answer the 4 questions posed to him by me, yesterday. #RafaleScam- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 3, 2019
PM Modi is on a day-long visit to Punjab where he will participate in the 106th Indian Science Congress (ISC). He is also expected to address a public rally in Gurdaspur, Punjab, on Thursday. Rahul Gandhi's constant attacks on the BJP government over the Rafale deal seems to have riled the senior BJP leaders, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who criticised the Congress President saying "even a fool will not compare prices of a simple flyaway Aircraft with a weaponised Jet". He was referring to the Gandhi speech in Parliament on Wednesday.
Sharpening the attack, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday called Gandhi the grandson of the "Emergency dictator" for intimidating an independent editor of a news organisation. "The Grandson of the 'Emergency dictator' displays his real DNA - attacks and intimidates an independent Editor," Jaitley said in a tweet on Thursday.
Jaitley was referring to a press conference Rahul Gandhi held on Wednesday, in which he referred to the PM's recent interview with an ANI editor, saying "...matlab (I mean) pliable journalist, woh question bhi de rahi thi, side mei (she was asking questions as well as giving answers)." Jaitley asked why "liberal people" were silent when a national political party chief was attacking a journalist for doing her job. Jaitley also sought a response from the Editors' Guild on the issue. "Why are the pseudo-liberals silent? Waiting for the Editors guild's response," said Jaitley.
After a heated debate in Parliament on Wednesday, followed by a press conference questioning the Rafale deal, Rahul had asked four questions to the PM. "Tomorrow, the PM faces an Open Book #RafaleDeal Exam in Parliament. Here are the exam questions in advance: Q1. Why 36 aircraft, instead of the 126 the IAF needed? Q2. Why 1,600 Cr instead of 560 Cr per aircraft. Q4. Why AA instead of HAL? Will he show up? Or send a proxy?," he tweeted. But a close look at the above tweet showed that Gandhi had got his numbering wrong. The sequence was missing the third question and the Twitterati noticed the mistake.
Undaunted, the Congress President jumped back in the fray with a subsequent tweet on "The Missing Q3" a few hours later. Gandhi said he had held back the question as the Lok Sabha speaker had said he could not talk about the Goa tape. "...Q3. Modi Ji, please tell us why Parrikar Ji keeps a Rafale file in his bedroom & what's in it?" he asked.
Edited by Manoj Sharma