The Congress party is raking up a “fake controversy” about the Rafale fighter jet deal because it has no chance to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, said union minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday.

“For the Congress the best case scenario [in the elections] is to become a tail-ender of the federal front and concede to it a large political space,” said Jaitley in a Facebook post, commeting on the Opposition party’s strategy of stitching up alliances for 2019.

The so-called federal front’s “message to the Congress is clear–‘you will have to support us; the other way is not possible.’ For the Congress the best case scenario is to become a tail-ender of the federal front and concede to it a large political space,” he said.

Jaitley rejected Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s allegation of corruption in the Rafale deal. “It has manufactured the issue of the Rafale deal…It’s a Government to Government agreement with no private group involved,” he said. “If you have no issue, manufacture one. Hence the Rafale’s fake controversy.”

Jaitley also criticised the Congress for party MP Shashi Tharoor’s use words like “Taliban in Hinduism” and “Hindu Pakistan”. “As equal participants in the Indian electoral process, the minorities have a constitutional right of a vote. But so does the majority. By redefining secularism as a euphemism for majority bashing, the Congress Party is antagonising the majority against itself. This will always happen in an election where you have an inadequate leader and no real issue,” he said.

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