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Rahul Gandhi's open book exam challenge to PM Modi on Rafale controversy

The Congress Party chief posed four questions to Modi on Twitter on Wednesday, on the number of planes, the costing, Parrikar's involvement and Anil Ambani's selection over HAL.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 3, 2019  | 10:06 IST
Rahul Gandhi's open book exam challenge to PM Modi on Rafale controversy

After a heated debate in Parliament on Wednesday, followed by a press conference questioning the Rafale deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi took his war of words against the Modi government to the social media. Tomorrow, the PM faces an Open Book #RafaleDeal Exam in Parliament," Gandhi tweeted 12 hours ago, and questioned whether Modi would "show up? Or send a proxy?" He then proceeded to list the questions that would be posed.

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. In fact, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was among the first to call him out on it. "A student who fails in the classroom boasts and challenges from outside," she tweeted.

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.

During the debate in the Lok Sabha, Gandhi had unsuccessfully sought the speaker's permission to play an audio clip in which Goa minister Vishwajit Rane purportedly told someone that Goa Chief Minister and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar had told his cabinet during a meeting that he had documents related to the Rafale deal 'in his bedroom'. The Congress chief alleged that Parrikar was "blackmailing" Modi with a file on the Rs 58,000-crore fighter jets deal.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was quick to dismiss the tape was "false and fabricated" during the debate, and had asked Gandhi if he could authenticate it. He might have to face a privilege motion and even expulsion if it turned out to be fabricated, the BJP leader had added.

Also read: Rafale deal row: Rahul Gandhi demands JPC; poses questions to PM Modi

Amid the ensuing uproar, which caused a brief adjournment of the House proceedings, Gandhi said he would not play it and authenticate it, prompting Jaitley to say that he was "scared" as he knew it was false. "This man [Gandhi] lies and lies repeatedly," he added.

According to NDTV, during the Lok Sabha debate, Gandhi had targeted Sitharaman, accusing her of "hiding" behind the protesting AIADMK members. She is expected to reply to the debate today.

The Congress party has accused the Modi government of several irregularities in the Rafale deal, from corruption and compromising national interest to causing a loss to the exchequer while promoting "crony capitalism" and benefiting Anil Ambani's company. The Centre as well as Dassault Aviation, the French company that makes the Rafale jets, have denied all allegations.

Also watch: The world according to Congress President Rahul Gandhi

Sushmita Choudhury Agarwal with PTI inputs

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