Rahul Gandhi reiterated his controversial remarks of last week against defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal and insisted that he would have made similar comments even if the defence minister had been a man.
He insisted that the Prime Minister should have defended himself in Parliament on the Rafale deal instead of deputing Sitharaman.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has helped Anil Ambani steal Rs 30,000 crore and the House of the people Lok Sabha is where he should have defended himself but he chose to send another person and that person happened to be a woman,” he said at a press conference in Dubai when asked about his remarks about Sitharaman on which the National Commission for Women (NCW) has issued a notice to him.
Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of helping Anil Ambani’s firm get an offset contract from Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation. The allegation has been denied by the Indian and French government as well as the two firms, Reliance Defence and Dassault Aviation.
“I would have made a very similar comment if it had been a man. Do not impose your sexism on me. I am very clear that the prime minister should have delivered that defence but he did not have the guts.”
He said the Congress has not yet got the answer whether defence ministry officials objected to the Prime Minister “bypassing” it on the Rafale deal. Sitharaman had spoken on behalf of the Prime Minister and defended the Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha.