“It Can Erase Pak”: Why BJP’s Himanta Sarma Says Congress Against Rafale

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Himanta Biswa Sarma alleged that Congress doesn't want the Indian Air Force to get the Rafale aircraft.

New Delhi:

As a debate on the controversial Rafale fight jet deal raged in the Lok Sabha where Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke on various aspects of the agreement for over two hours and accused the Congress-led government of scrapping an earlier deal because it "didn't get the money", BJP leader and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma added his two cents.

"Congress doesn't want the Indian Air Force to get the Rafale aircraft. It's scared because India can finish off Pakistan with Rafale fighter jets and the Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi won't want that to happen," Mr Sarma alleged in Assamese at a rally in Silchar.

The Prime Minister has categorically said that Rafale will be brought to India and the country will been seen as a super power, he added. The first Rafale aircraft will arrive in India by September, announced Ms Sitharaman in the parliament today.

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Assam's finance minister and BJP's key strategist in the northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma, however, isn't the first one to use "Congress", "Rafale" and "Pakistan" in the same sentence.

BJP's general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya has also accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of speaking the "language of Pakistan" and seeking information in the Rafale issue that the neighbouring country wants, reported news agency PTI.

When the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, then why is the Congress demanding that a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) be constituted to probe the deal, he demanded to know.

"Why is Rahul asking questions to the centre on the issue of Rafale deal whose answers Pakistan wants to know? Why you (Rahul) appear to be standing with the enemy country?" Mr Vijaywargiya said at an event last month.

The BJP general secretary also alleged that after the Congress won the recent Assembly elections in three states, slogans such as "Pakistan Zindabad" were raised during processions.

"Whenever Congress wins and the party takes out a victory procession, people shout Pakistan Zindabad, but Congressmen remain silent on this," he alleged.

And the neighbour reciprocates, BJP leaders alleged.

"Some people want Gandhi to become a big leader in India. Who are they? They are Pakistani leaders, and also those who stand for corruption, dynasty and politics of appeasement," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra had said earlier while drawing a parallel between the Congress and Pakistani leaders, saying they both are "frustrated" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr Patra also referred to BJP national president Amit Shah's dig at the opposition party, if it has formed a "mahagathbandhan" (grand alliance) with Pakistan against PM Modi.

The Congress has rubbished the allegations and said deliberate attempts are being made to bring Pakistan into the election discourse to polarise voters.

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