New Delhi, Feb 8: The wrangling between the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France continued on Thursday with both trading charges on each other. While Congress president Rahul Gandhi once again raised questions over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence over the issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tore into the Congress accusing it of compromising national security by demanding details of the jet deal. Also Read - In Absence of Sonia And Rahul, Congress Leaders to Meet Tomorrow to Discuss Organisational Issues
Speaking in Lok Sabha, Arun Jaitley, who was the Defence Minister before Nirmala Sitharamam took charge in September last year, said the Congress is manufacturing allegation of corruption against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Also Read - 'If Govt Didn't Count, Nobody Died?' Rahul Lambasts Centre Over Migrants' Deaths During Lockdown
“Your party was stigmatised when you were in government by allegations of corruption. Therefore, now the new act is let us manufacture an allegation of corruption against the NDA. So, when you couldn’t find anything you said please disclose the details of the Rafale deal,” Jaitley said. Also Read - 'Save Your Life Because PM Busy With Peacocks': Rahul Gandhi Taunts PM Modi As Covid-19 Cases Surge
“When you give details of a defence transaction, you give the details & capacity of the weapon system, which you don’t want to inform the enemy. At least 15 previous Defence Ministers including Pranab Mukherjee and AK Antony have refused to give details of armament purchases,” Jaitley added.
Evident Something’s Fishy: Rahul Gandhi
While Jaitley blasted the Congress inside Parliament, Rahul Gandhi continued his tirade outside. Talking to reporters outside the Parliament building, Rahul Gandhi targeted PM Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman once again.
Rahul Gandhi questioned why neither the PM nor the defence minister was responding to queries posed to them concerning the fighter jet deal with France. “Ye saaf hai ke maamle mein gadbadi hui hai (It is evident that there is something amiss in the deal),” he said. (Also Read: Rafale Deal: Congress Sniffs a Scam And Here’s The Reason Behind it)
“Asked PM three questions – cost of jets, if they asked cabinet committee on security about it and why was contract snatched from HAL and given to a businessman? But got no answers. Did you see the PM yesterday? He gave a long speech but wasn’t interested in answering fundamental questions,” Rahul Gandhi said.
“Defence minister herself said that cost of Rafale jest will be revealed but now she is saying it is a state secret and cannot be disclosed…so, which one of her statements is correct?” the Congress leader asked.
Reacting to PM Modi’s speech in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi had accused the PM of protecting those behind alleged corruption in the Rafale deal and said he needs to answer the country on questions posed to him on it and on farmers and jobs instead of making allegations in Parliament.
Describing the prime minister’s speech as a “political and campaign” speech, Rahul Gandhi said Modi seems to have forgotten that he is the prime minister and not an opposition leader