Cong, BJP in Rafale slugfest: Chor verus Ochchi Baat

Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrives to address the media on Rafale deal issue, in New Delhi, on Saturday. PTI

The political slugfest over Rafale deal on Saturday quickly turned into an ugly personal spat with the BJP coming out with a hashtag on Twitter #RahulKaPuraKhandanChor, soon after the Congress president made a direct attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him a “Chor”.

"The @INCIndia & Shri. @RahulGandhi repeat untruth several times and use brazen & abusive language about @PMOIndia @narendramodi. They betray their sense of desperation in being out-of-power. In our govt there is no corruption. No wonder today the buzz is #RahulKaPuraKhandanChor," Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Twitter.

While Rahul chose to centre the attack on Modi saying it was he who signed the Rafale deal and not Nirmala or former defence minister Manohar Parrikar, the BJP said the entire Nehru-Gandhi family is a fountainhead of corruption citing corruption cases from Bofors, to Common Wealth Games and 2G cases during the UPA reign.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who held a press conference, reminded Rahul that “Ottavio Quattrocchi (key accused in Bofors scam) was called your maternal uncle (mama)."

Terming the Congress president as a “silly” individual, Prasad accused him of resorting to “ochchi baat” (cheap talk). “By making such shameless allegations, you have thrown black paint on yourself (apna hi munh kaalikh se pot liya hai). This is a family, which is the fountainhead of corruption (ek aisa parivar hai jo bhrastachar ki janani hai).”

He also referred to the controversial land deals of Robert Vadra saying Rahul is a person who “kept mum over land loot by his brother-in-law and who is charge-sheeted along with his mother in National Herald case. Such a person is leveling allegations against the PM.”

The BJP sought to taint all predecessor of Rahul, including India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (the great-grandfather of Rahul), soon after the Congress president threw a barb at the prime minister saying, “Chowkidar Chori Kar Gaya (The custodian carried out the theft)”.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar even brought India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru under the ambit of his target tweeting “ Sh @rahulgandhi ji, in case you need to know – Mundra Jeep scam to Bofors to CWG Scams to National Herald – only one family is involved, guess whose?”

“Out on bail Rahul Gandhi and his family have long been the primary source of corruption in the country,” said Union Minister Piyush Goyal.

BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya said, “ Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, who are currently out on bail, in the 5,000 crore national herald corruption scam, and cannot see anyone in the eye on matters of probity, are calling India's most honest PM, a chor! Disgraceful."

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Cong, BJP in Rafale slugfest: Chor verus Ochchi Baat

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