New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of speaking "a lie" about inaugurating an ordnance unit in the Congress president's parliamentary constituency Amethi, claiming he had himself laid the foundation stone of the factory in 2010.
His remark drew immediate reaction from Union minister Smriti Irani, who said Gandhi is "scared" and could not see that the new facility in Korwa area of Amethi was a joint venture between India and Russia which will manufacture AK-203 rifles for armed forces.
Gandhi had claimed he laid the foundation stone in 2010 and that the factory has been producing small weapons for years.
"Prime minister ji, I had myself laid the foundation stone of the Ordinance factory in Amethi in 2010. In the last many years, small weapons are being manufactured there.
"You went to Amethi yesterday and spoke a lie, which you are used to doing. Are you not ashamed a bit," he asked in a tweet in Hindi.
His attack came a day after Modi accused Gandhi of "lying" and ignoring the ordnance factory in Amethi, and had a dig at him, saying the rifles manufactured at the unit will be known as "Made in Amethi."
Shortly after Gandhi's tweet, Irani, who had unsuccessfully contested from the constituency in the 2014 general election, responded in Hindi on Twitter.
"You are scared to see development in Amethi, that you did not see what was inaugurated in Korwa was a JV. Under this agreement between India and Russia, AK-203 rifles will be manufactured," she said, tagging Rahul Gandhi in the tweet.
On Sunday, in Amethi, Modi said, "Some people go around giving speeches of 'made in Ujjain', 'made in Jaipur', 'made in Jaisalmer'... This is Modi. Now 'Made in Amethi' will be AK-203 rifles. It will help our jawans." He did not name Gandhi.