The BJP will hold a nationwide protest on Saturday to seek Rahul Gandhi's apology as it asserted on Friday that the Supreme Court's reiteration of its clean chit to the Modi government in the Rafale deal case has exposed the Congress leader and his party's "lies".
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Bhupender Yadav told reporters that an ideological battle is acceptable in a democracy but the way Gandhi resorted to "lies" and was forced to tender an apology in the apex court for misquoting it has left him with no choice but to apologise to the nation as well.
For the first time a national leader had to tender an apology in the Supreme Court, he claimed, adding that Gandhi was the Congress president then.
Yadav also mocked the Congress's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal issue, noting that the court had in a unanimous verdict on Friday rejected the petitions seeking a review of its 2018 order that had quashed pleas for an investigation in the purchase of Rafale fighter aircraft alleging corruption.
BJP workers will hold a protests at the district level, he said, adding that the ruling party carried out a similar exercise in Delhi on Friday.
"Our demand is that Gandhi should tender an apology to the country for the way he and the Congress shamelessly lied to the public over the issue," he said.
To a question about the Congress citing Justice K M Joseph's observation that the judgment "would not stand in the way" of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from taking action in the matter, the BJP leader pointed out that the three-member bench gave a unanimous verdict rejecting any demand for a probe.
If somebody interprets the judgment in a different way, then the BJP cannot help it, Yadav said, adding that the court had rejected the demand for an investigation after doing a thorough study of its merit.
While the verdict has exposed the Congress, it has further boosted the Modi government's credibility, he said.
The Supreme Court on Thursday gave clean chit to the Modi government on the purchase of 36 fully loaded Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault Aviation, rejecting the plea for registration of an FIR by the CBI for alleged commission of cognisable offence in the deal.
The apex court in two separate but concurring verdicts said the review petitions were without merit and required to be dismissed.
The top court rejected the pleas seeking review of the December 14, 2018 verdict in which it had said that there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.