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PM Modi Rebukes Rahul for Rafale Deal Allegations, Says Stop Making Childish Statements

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address on the no-confidence motion moved against his government in Lok Sabha, said that it was immature to play politics over the Rafale fighter jet deal. “Your remarks forced two governments to issue statements,” Modi said.

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Updated:July 20, 2018, 11:08 PM IST
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PM Modi Rebukes Rahul for Rafale Deal Allegations, Says Stop Making Childish Statements
File photo of a French Rafale fighter aircraft. (Photo: Getty Images)
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hit back at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for accusations against the government on national security issues and asked him to abstain from "childish statements" such as describing surgical strikes as a 'jumla".

Modi, in his address on the no-confidence motion moved against his government in Lok Sabha, said that it was immature to play politics over the Rafale fighter jet deal. “Your remarks forced two governments to issue statements,” Modi said.

Gandhi had earlier in the day accused the government of "lying" to the nation on the issue of sharing details of the Rafale jet deal and had called the Prime Minister a "bhagidaar" (collaborator) in cases of alleged corruption, not a "chowkidaar" (guard).

"We must abstain from making childish statements on sensitive issues," Modi said during his reply to the motion, moved by the BJP's former ally TDP.

Modi received a boost to rebut the allegations after a statement issued by the French government, said that the 2008 agreement signed by the two nations legally binds protection of classified information that could impact security and operational capabilities of the defence equipment of India or France.

“These provisions naturally apply to the inter-governmental agreement concluded on 23 September 2016 on the acquisition of 36 Rafale aircraft and their weapons,” it said in a statement.

Modi also said the surgical strike against Pakistan-based terror camps must not be called a 'jumla' as it would amount to insulting the security forces.

Modi said he cannot imagine the truth being crushed like this and the country misled in such a manner.

Gandhi had said the French president had clearly conveyed to him during a meeting in March this year that there was no problem in sharing details relating to the multi-billion dollar Rafale deal.

Alleging corruption in the deal, the Congress has been demanding details, including cost of equipment and weapons, but the government has refused to share them citing a secrecy pact with France.

Speaking about the Doklam stand-off with China, Modi hit out at Gandhi saying when the entire country was united, the Congress leader was meeting the Chinese envoy.

Modi also said Congress has no confidence in itself and it also does not trust any of the country's institutions like RBI and Election Commission.

"I pray to God to give you (Gandhi) strength to bring a no-confidence motion in 2024 also. My best wishes are with you," he said.

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| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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