Rahul regrets Rafale remarks

Rahul regrets Rafale remarks

Says made them in heat of campaign

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has regretted his statement where he attributed comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale case to the Supreme Court.

The Congress president said he "gave the statements in the heat of the political campaigning." Gandhi is reported to have underlined that it was not his intention to bring the court into the ongoing political slugfest.

A bench chaired by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will take up the case on Tuesday. The BJP demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi and called him a "liar of the first order" in public opinion.

Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said, "Today, by filing an affidavit in the SC, Rahul Gandhi accepted that he had lied on his allegations against PM Modi on the Rafale deal.

This was an attempt by Rahul Gandhi to manufacture a lie and create a controversy in the Rafale deal... He should apologise to the people of this country."

Rahul Gandhi was last week told by the Supreme Court to file his affidavit on a contempt petition filed by BJP lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi who had complained that Gandhi "replaced his personal statement as Supreme Court's order" and tried to create prejudice.

The Supreme Court had earlier this month allowed three sets of documents to be used in the Rafale review petition, rejecting protests from the government which cited various grounds including national security to block use of these papers.

Gandhi, who was in Amethi to file his nomination papers, had reacted to the news, saying: "Now the Supreme Court has made it clear that 'chowkidarji' (watchman) has committed a theft…

I want to directly challenge that the Supreme Court has stated that you have indulged in corruption."

The ruling BJP had immediately lashed out at Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of contempt of court and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman described it as the Congress's attempt to "perpetrate their own lies".

Her party later filed a formal complaint against Gandhi with the Election Commission, charging him of lying.

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