The evidence on Rafale is "open and shut" and nothing can save Prime Minister Narendra Modi from it, Congress president Rahul Gandhi told reporters today. Pretty clear PM helped Anil Ambani get Rs 30,000 crore: Rahul. Congress has alleged that NDA's Rafale deal is costlier than UPA's. It has said Reliance Defence was chosen as Dassault's offset partner under pressure from Modi govt

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his defence minister's speech in the Lok Sabha on Friday demolished a "campaign on calumny" on the NDA's deal for 36 flyaway Rafale fighter jets.

Not that Rahul Gandhi has been discouraged one bit.

"Nothing is going to save the prime minister from Rafale. Nothing," the Congress president told reporters today. "The evidence on Rafale is open and shut. It is pretty clear that the prime minister has personally helped Mr Anil Ambani get Rs 30,000 crore."

"I have a simple question. Please tell the country when Mr Narendra Modi bypassed the old Rafale deal. Did the Air Force...Did the defence ministry raise an objection?"

"I'm expecting a yes-no answer. The defence minister is not able to give one. Neither is the prime minister," Rahul Gandhi said.

The Congress has alleged that the NDA's Rafale deal -- for 36 planes to be bought off the shelf -- is costlier than its own (the UPA's, now junked) deal for 128 planes (18 off the shelf, rest to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).

A feature of the NDA's deal is a requirement that the jet-maker, Dassault Aviation, invest in India by tying up with Indian firms. One of the companies Dassault chose was Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence.

The Congress has alleged that it was chosen under pressure from the Modi government.

"Believe me when I tell you: the nation is going to 100 per cent know that Narendra Modi has taken Rs 30,000 crore of the people's money and given it his friend Anil Ambani...without a shadow of doubt, the nation will know this." --- Rahul Gandhi

Rahul, Sitharaman Spar Over Govt Contracts To HAL

This weekend Rahul Gandhi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman clashed on Twitter over a comment of hers -- one that the Congress president claimed was a lie. He asked her to show proof of government orders to HAL worth Rs 1 lakh crore, or resign.

She tweeted back (with pictures of documents), saying it was a shame Rahul Gandhi was "misleading the nation".

Sitharaman said HAL had signed contracts worth around Rs 26,500 crore between 2014 and 2018, and that contracts worth Rs 73,000 crore were in the pipeline. She also issued a clarification in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

"I would like to set all doubts to rest", the defence minister told the Lok Sabha. "The doubts raised in this regard are incorrect and misleading."