On Wednesday at a rally in Rajasthan, the Congress chief mocked PM Modi saying he had a "mahila (woman)" defend him during the Rafale debate in parliament.

"The watchman with a 56-inch chest ran away and told a woman, Sitharamanji, defend me. I won't be able to defend myself, defend me. For two and a half hours, the woman could not defend him. I had asked a straight question - answer yes or no - but she couldn't answer", said Mr Gandhi.

Ms Sitharaman had responded in parliament to Mr Gandhi's allegations that PM Modi signed an overpriced deal for 36 Rafale jets to help industrialist Anil Ambani whose inexperienced defence firm won an offset contract with Rafale-maker Dassault.

Mr Gandhi kept accusing the prime minister of avoiding the debate and leaving the minister to defend him.

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