New Delhi, April 23: Congress president Rahul Gandhi's affidavit in the Supreme Court in connection with the Rafale deal has eroded his credibility.
Gandhi on Monday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court wherein he apologised for falsely misquoting the apex court over the Rafale deal to prove his slogan 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' (Watchman is a thief).
On April 10, Gandhi had claimed that now the Supreme Court has also admitted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who proudly calls himself a Chowkidar, has facilitated theft in the Rafael deal.
After filing his nomination papers from Amethi, Gandhi told reporters: "Supreme Court ne clear kar diya hai ki chowkidarji ne chori karwai (Supreme Court has made it clear that chowkidarji got the theft done)".
He was commenting after the top court allowed the plea of petitioners relying on leaked documents to seek a review of its Rafale judgement.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meenakshi Lekhi filed a contempt petition, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Gandhi.
In his affidavit, Congress Ppesident regretted for incorrectly attributing a remark on the Rafale deal to the Supreme Court, and said he had made the comment in the "heat of the political campaigning".
After the media reported his affidavit, the BJP leaders launched an all-around attack on Gandhi.
Seeking stringent action against Gandhi, Lekhi tweeted, "It's an admission of guilt and thus contempt. Considering the need to protect the integrity of the court in these testing times, such an admission is a vindication of the petition. I hope and pray that it is responded with the strictest rebuke by the court."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said, "In public opinion, Rahul Gandhi is a liar of the first order."
Even Congress sources believe that Rahul 's affidavit has given a new life to the government that had become uncomfortable after the apex court allowed the review petition on April 10.
"We are in a digital age where sea of information flows within minutes. Majority of netizens make their opinion after reading just headlines and they don't have time to read full news. Reporting of Rahul Ji 's affidavit has dented Chowkidar Chor Hai campaign. Politics is all about changing perception of people for own benefit, and unfortunately the BJP has taken a lead by highlighting Rahul Ji's apology for its own benefit, " a Congress leader tells OneIndia.
The leader wished had his leader chosen the right words while commenting on the Supreme Court order then today the situation would have been different.
The government and the BJP have always maintained that the Rafale deal is fair and transparent and Rahul Gandhi has been manufacturing lies to make the deal controversial.
Another party insider admits that Rahul's apology in the Supreme Court has eroded his credibility, which would be very difficult to repair.
"Rahul's gaffe has given a fillip to the BJP's allegation that he is lying on the Rafale deal and is so desperate to derive political mileage out of the deal that he even doesn't mind misquoting the Supreme Court. Every political leader lies, but when a leader is forced to aplogise before the court then it should be a matter of grave concern for the leader and the damage is hard to repair," says the source.
It is notable that even the BJP leaders jokingly say that Rahul with his political immaturity is always helpful for them.
A depressed diehard fan of Rahul Gandhi tells this scribe that the BJP would publicise that the Rahul Ji has been forced to apologise before the Supreme Court for terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi a thief, which would be difficult for the Congress workers to counter.
Fact of the matter is that majority of Indians, including political party workers, don't understand the details of the Rafale deal and they just toe their party line. The party with highest number of dedicated workers always takes lead in highlighting an issue. The BJP with over 10 crore registered members will definitely leave no stone unturned to highlight Rahul 's self-goal.