Rahul Gandhi should not play with national security for cheap politics, says BJP

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New Delhi : Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday called Congress President Rahul Gandhi's family corrupt and said he should refrain from playing with national security for his "cheap politics" over the Rafale deal.

Accusing Gandhi of lying, Prasad told the media: "We cannot expect anything from him (Rahul Gandhi) as the entire Gandhi family is involved in corruption, whether it is Bofors or National Herald or other issues."

He accused Gandhi of following the same agenda that Pakistan espouses.

"Now even the people of Pakistan are saying that they want Rahul Gandhi should be India's Prime Minister," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.

"Do not play with the security of the country for your cheap politics... The country is not going to be affected by the lie spoken shamelessly by Rahul Gandhi."

His remarks came amid the raging controversy over the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from the French firm Dassault Aviation after former Franch President Francois Hollande claimed that the Indian government suggested a private firm for the offset contract.

Hollande has said that the Indian firm had been suggested by the Indian government for the Rs 30,000 crore offset contract and the French side including Rafale maker Dassault Aviation had no choice in it.

The Congress has been accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in crony capitalism apart from violating procedures in the Rafale deal.

The deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France was announced by Modi in 2015 and signed in 2016.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was earlier negotiating a deal to procure 126 Rafale jets, with 18 to come in flyaway condition and 108 to be manufactured by Bengaluru-headquartered HAL under licence.

The Modi government has repeatedly said it was Dassault that chose its India partner for offsets and that the government had no say in the deal.