Congress president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday reiterated that the BJP government had released JeM chief Masood Azhar and asked what the Narendra Modi regime had done to protect the 40 CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama attack. Addressing a press conference here, the Gandhi scion said: "The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) needs to explain why they sent that criminal (Azhar) back to Pakistan."
Attacking National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, yet again, Gandhi stressed that he was involved in the Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) chief's release. Gandhi had earlier ridiculed Doval by saying that he had "escorted" Azhar -- who was in an Indian jail and released due to the IC 814 hijacking episode -- to Kandahar in a "special aircraft" in 1999.
Targeting the Union government on the Rafale aircraft deal, Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi ran a "parallel negotiation". Gandhi said while there was no question about the jet's capability, the issue was about corruption and there was a need to prove it.
Asked if the party would scrap the deal if voted to power, Gandhi said: "That is a technical decision... We do not have information on that." But the question of corruption is crystal clear... The prime minister is a "corrupt" man, bypassed negotiations, ran parallel negotiations on the Rafale deal, he said.
"The only question we are raising is that Mr Narendra Modi and Mr Anil Ambani have stolen Rs 30,000 crore... We will have an investigation and (I am) 100 per cent certain... on the back of that investigation, they will be convicted," he added. The charge has been repeatedly denied by the Modi government and the Reliance group. The BJP has described Rahul Gandhi's allegations against Modi in the Rafale deal as "yet another lie from his lie-manufacturing factory".
(With inputs from agencies.)