Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Anurag Thakur on Friday launched a scathing attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi for calling ANI Editor Smita Prakash a "pliable" journalist and terming her interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "staged".
While speaking in Lok Sabha during the debate on Rafale deal, the 44-year-old BJP leader asserted that the Prime Minister answered all the questions pertaining to the national interest.
"PM Modi answered on every issue in the 95-minute interview. What did Rahul Gandhi expect Ms Smita Prakash to ask? What you like to eat, how is your dog etc? And later Rahul Gandhi attacking the woman journalist for it is extremely condemnable", he stated.
This issue was raked up by Thakur in the Lower House just hours after Editors Guild expressed concern over Gandhi scion's remarks stating "the labelling has emerged as a favourite tactic on the part of the establishment to discredit journalists".
Thakur who is a Member of Lok Sabha from Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur also touched upon the issue of Rafale fighter jets deal and criticised the Opposition Congress for taking ample time to prepare the debate on the same.
"Congress took more than 20 days to prepare for the debate. When the Opposition brought forward a leader to lead the discussion, it was a confused and a corrupt leader, who is out on bail. Woh 20 minute mein 20 jhooth bol kar chale gaye...They do one, two ka four," he said.
The Rafale jet deal controversy has been on the boil over the last few months. The Congress and other Opposition parties have been alleging irregularities in the high-profile deal.
The fighter jet is a twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, which security analysts believe can be a 'game-changer' for India's defence system.
However, the Supreme Court on December 14 gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre a clean chit on the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France's Dassault Aviation.
In its judgment, the court stated that there is "no occasion to really doubt the process", delivering a major victory to the government and lending a setback to the Congress which has been alleging corruption in the agreement.