New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has questioned how the Congress was ‘parading former French president Francois Hollande as a star witness’ and said the Rafale deal wouldn’t be cancelled because there was something fishy about the allegations. He said the Comptroller and Auditor General would study the pricing of the aircraft but the deal would stay. The CAG probe would only study it to check whether it was a better deal than that of the UPA government, the Minister reportedly said.
He pointed out that the Congress was first accusing Hollande of being hand-in-glove with Anil Ambani but the former president was its star witness. Jaitley said Reliance entered into an MoU with Dassault in February 2012, way before the NDA even took over the reins. “Rahul’s misplaced criticism could equally apply to the 2012 MoU,” he said.
In his blog post, the minister wrote, ‘On August 30, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted ‘Globalised corruption. This Rafale aircraft really does fly far and fast! It’s also going to drop some big bunker buster bombs in the next couple of weeks’. The former French president’s first statement rhymes with Rahul Gandhi’s prediction.” He went on to add that he had no proof of their being a ‘jugalbandi’ but it did make him suspicious. “There is definitely something… a statement comes (from Hollande), then it is contradicted. But he (Rahul) predicted this to happen 20 days in advance,” he said.
The FM said that the next day (August 31), the Congress’ official handle had carried the tweet of one of its leaders saying, “It is evident that Anil Ambani bribed President Hollande through his actor-partner to get the Dassault partnership.” Jaitley said the former French president himself went on to contradict his statement. “The partners (Dassault and Reliance) selected themselves as Hollande now says. This contradicts his first questionable statement which the French government and Dassault have denied,” he said in his post.