Heated debate and counter attacks between Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are now extended to Parliament debates. After heated debate for two days in Lok Sabha, now they are continuing out-side in the media.
Nirmala Sitharaman, today, hit back at Rahul Gandhi with strong words, after he accused her of lying in Parliament about procurement orders worth Rs 1 lakh crore for state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). In her counter offensive, she said it was a matter of “shame” that the Congress president was misleading the country on the issue.
She also tweeted details of contract awarded to HAL since 2014 when the BJP came to power. “It’s a shame that the president of @INCIndia is misleading the nation. HAL has signed contracts worth Rs 26570.8 Cr (Between 2014 and 2018) and contracts worth Rs 73000 Cr are in the pipeline. Will @RahulGandhi apologise to the country from the floor of the house and resign?” the defence minister tweeted.
Earlier, Rahul alleged that she “lied” in Parliament that government orders worth Rs one lakh crore were provided to HAL, while demanding that she should either place the documents in support of her statement in the House or resign. Gandhi’s attack came after a media report claimed that “not a single rupee of the said Rs 1 lakh crore has come to HAL, since not a single order, as claimed, has been signed till now”. The media report cited senior HAL management officials in order to back its claim.
The Congress has been targeting the government, alleging that it denied the HAL an offset contract under the Rafale fighter jets deal with France, a charge the government has denied.
Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted today, “The Lying Defence Minister’s Lies Get Exposed! Defence Minister claimed that procurement orders worth Rs 1 Lakh Crore provided to HAL! HAL says Not a SINGLE PAISA has come, as Not a SINGLE ORDER has been signed!”