Sitharaman hits back at Rahul's 'resignation' jibe
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday alleged that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "lied" in Parliament that government orders worth Rs one lakh crore was provided to HAL while demanding that she should either place the documents in support of her statement in the House or resign.
Gandhi's attack came after a media report claimed that "not a single rupee of the said Rs 1 lakh crore has come to HAL, since not a single order, as claimed, has been signed till now". The media report cited senior HAL management officials to back its claim.
Defence Minister Sitharaman hit back at Gandhi for his remarks, saying read "the complete report" to "which you are referring".
However, as the LS record shows, Sitharaman did not claim the orders were signed, saying they were in the works. Sitharaman tweeted, quoting from the media report to assert that she had not stated in Parliament that the orders to HAL had been signed.
Her remarks came in response to Gandhi's scathing attack in which he said: "When you tell one lie, you need to keep spinning out more lies, to cover up the first one. In her eagerness to defend the PM's Rafale lie, the RM lied to Parliament."
"On Monday, RM must place before Parliament documents showing 1 Lakh crore of Govt orders to HAL. Or resign," he tweeted.
Sitharaman's office later also tweeted that: "Dear Shri @RahulGandhi , looks like you really need to start from ABCs. Someone like you who is hellbent on misleading the public will quote an article even before reading it.'
Her office also accused Gandhi of "lying" and said HAL had signed contracts worth Rs 26,570.8 crore between 2014 and 2018 and contracts worth Rs 73,000 crore are in the pipeline.
"Will @RahulGandhi apologise to the country from the floor of the house and resign?" her office tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had given a "detailed response" to the "lies" on the Rafale deal in Parliament and had placed facts before the people.
Modi was speaking to BJP workers from Anantapuramu, Kadapa, Kurnool, Narsaraopet and Tirupati Lok Sabha constituencies via video-conference.