Recently, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi sparked controversy across the nation after accusing Prime Minister Modi of playing politics over the “blood of jawans” who sacrificed their lives in Kashmir.
Now Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has hit back at Rahul Gandhi in equal measure saying those who “focused on profiteering” in defence deals fully understood the meaning of the word. He also added that BJP does not intend to use army’s “valour” for elections.
Parrikar lashed out at Congress on various defence scams during its stint in power.
Taking a potshot at Congress, he said, “There was dalali in 2006, when there was deal of submarines (referring to the Scorpene submarine scam) and then there was dalali also in helicopters (AgustaWestland) deal”.
The Scorpene Submarine Deal Scam is one of India’s largest bribery corruption scandals, in which Rs 1,000 crore have been alleged to be paid to government decision makers by Thales, the makers of the Scorpene submarine. India is currently building six Scorpene-class submarines, named Project 75, in partnership with the French company DCNS under a $3.5-billion deal signed in 2005.
In February 2010, the ruling UPA government signed a contract to purchase 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters for Indian Air Force for Rs 3,600-crore, to carry the president, PM and other VVIPs. In this big defence kickback controversy, the role of then PM Manmohan Singh, former Defence Minister AK Antony, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former IAF chief SP Tyagi was put to question.
“There were allegations of dalali in Pilatus training aircraft (deal). After that in Embraer aircraft. Those who only focused on dalali (profiteering) fully understand what the word dalali means,” Parrikar said.
Earlier Rahul Gandhi attacked PM Modi over the surgical strikes and said, “Jo hamare jawan hain jinhone apna khoon diya hai, Jammu and Kashmir mein khoon diya hai, jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strikes kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai . (You [Modi] are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong).”
Earlier, BJP chief Amit Shah too hit out at the Congress vice-president, asking whether “dalali” was an appropriate word used in reference for the Indian Army and their valiant efforts in serving the nation.
A complaint has already been filled against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his comment ‘Khoon ki dalali’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.