Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman responding to allegations against the Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha on Friday. Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the defence minister evaded questions he had raised in the Lower House

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party have lauded Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her speech in the Lok Sabha on Friday on the Rafale deal.

“Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech in the Parliament demolishes the campaign of calumny on Rafale,” tweeted Modi on Friday. “Must watch,” he said, along with a link to her speech.

Sitharaman on Friday accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government of creating a deadlock in the Rafale fighter jet deal with France. She alleged that while the Bofors defence deal had brought down the Congress, the Rafale deal would help bring Modi’s government back.

Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley called it an “outstanding performance”. “You demolished the fake campaign,” he tweeted on Friday. “We are all proud of your performance.”

BJP President Amit Shah praised Sitharaman for “bringing the truth to the nation”. “A LIE goes only so far and no further,” he tweeted. “Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ji has completely demolished Congress party’s lies and misinformation campaign on Rafale with her excellent speech loaded with facts.”

The BJP in a tweet said Sitharaman had demolished “every charge levelled in connection with Rafale Deal threadbare”.

Congress responds to Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech in Lok Sabha

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday continued his attack on the Modi government on the Rafale deal. “Let every Indian ask the PM [and] his Ministers these questions,” he tweeted along with a video of him asking questions in the Lower House on the fighter aircraft deal.

“RM [Raksha Mantri] spoke for 2 hrs,” Gandhi said. “In Parliament, but she couldn’t answer the 2 simple questions I asked her.”

Gandhi had questioned who gave the offset contract to Anil Ambani and whether the defence ministry officials had raised an objection when the prime minister carried out a “bypass surgery” for the deal. He had asked Sitharaman to reply in a yes or no.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Sitharaman had learnt the “art of spin doctoring” from Jaitley. “Request For Proposal-2007 confirms that Congress-UPA Govt was buying a FULLY LOADED AIRCRAFT with Avionics,Weapons [and] India Specific Enhancements, same as Modiji,” he tweeted. “Then why pay more?”