New Delhi: Accusing Congress president Rahul Gandhi of gross contempt of court, the BJP on Wednesday said he attributed to the Supreme Court what it had never said in its order on the Rafale deal. Addressing a press conference, senior party leader and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The Congress president probably doesn’t read even half a paragraph of the court’s order, but here, by saying that the court has has said ‘chowkidaar chor hai’, it is verging on contempt of court.” The president of a party which has been in power for so many years has shown his frustration by attributing words to the apex which were not uttered, she said. The minister added that the court order was limited to whether it should consider the documents the government said were illegally obtained by petitioners.
Taking a potshot at Gandhi, she said he is out on bail and was accompanied at his nomination filing in Amethi by “the family” — as described Christen Michel, an alleged middlemen in VVIP chopper deal. Gandhi has crossed the line of decency in his comments on the court, she said, adding that he is repeatedly misleading people on the Rafale fighter jet deal. Buoyed by the Supreme Court order allowing petitioners seeking a review of the Rafale judgment to rely on leaked documents, Gandhi claimed the apex court has made it “clear” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “committed a theft”.
Gandhi then challenged Modi to a debate on the Rafale military aircraft deal, which the Congress claims involved corruption, a charge repeatedly rejected by the government. Asked whether the court order is a setback for the government, Sitharaman said, “Not at all.” She said things would now become crystal clear.