Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad targeted Rahul Gandhi over his acerbic tweet suggesting that the Supreme Court has opened the door for probe into the Rafale procurement case. He said accusations over irregularities in Rafale deal stems from referring "sponsored stories" in some sections of the media. Speaking to Republic TV, Prasad said, "I have always said the truth will triumph, today truth has triumphed. India's security has triumphed and the honest decision-making process of the Narendra Modi government also stands vindicated. But Rahul Gandhi misled the country. They lost last year in December in the Supreme Court, they lost the Lok Sabha elections, today the review is being dismissed (sic)."
Prasad highlighted the fact of how the procurement of advanced fighter jets was stalled for the last thirty years as against the urgency of the Air Force. "My charge is that they deliberately delayed it for the last ten years (UPA rule of 2004-14)." He went on to criticise Rahul Gandhi saying, "I have always said Rahul Gandhi doesn't do his homework, but I never knew that people don't even give him advice. Now he is playing with the name of an honourable judge, Justice Joseph. He in his judgement has clearly said that 'I agree with the reasonings of the other two judges that there is no merit in this review'. He has only stated that if a complaint is to be filed under Section 17A of the CBI Act you need to have the sanction of the requisite authority. That's all, nothing beyond. If Rahul Gandhi has the courage, go and file the complaint." He once again asked for an apology from Gandhi.
When asked if he wants to just bury the matter and not follow through over the Opposition's attempt to stick to falsehoods on Rafale, Prasad said, "Not the least... This lobby, a section of the media, sponsored story based upon half-baked filed reporting, what was happening, we have seen that. I must repeat that he misled the House about the French President Mr. Macron that he has told me that it can be disclosed."
Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss review petition on Rafale proves that Modi Govt stands tall on its promise of transparent & corruption-free governance & exposes all lies of Rahul Gandhi #RafaleVerdict https://t.co/EOQLZ3XVgV— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) November 14, 2019
Prasad also lambasted Rahul Gandhi for picking up sponsored stories in the media and creating an issue. "The Congress party's hands are soiled from Bofors to Jeep scandal to submarine to everything. Ten years of their regime, they did not follow on the Rafale at all. When the tender was decided, again it was stalled. At who's instance Rahul Gandhi was doing all this, the professional competitor?" asked Prasad. He added that the Air Force was craving for the jets for 30 years and there has been "irresponsible conduct on many fronts, including by the lobby by way of fake news propagation".
"Those who want to rule the country, let them contest, get popular approval and rule the country. But based upon fake news and sponsored stories, they cannot run the country through collusive litigation the courts of law. And I'm very happy that the courts are repeatedly rejected their plea."