Launching a series of scathing attacks on Rahul Gandhi who has been targeting the Narendra Modi government over the issue of Rafale fighter jet deal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed the allegations by the former as “factually false” and said that the Congress president gave seven different prices in different speeches with regard to the 2007 aircraft deal. Also Read - 'Light a Diya of Reason, Not Superstition', Congress' Kapil Sibal Mocks PM Modi's Appeal to Nation
“Rahul Gandhi quoted a price of Rs 700 crore per aircraft in Delhi and Karnataka in April and May this year. In Parliament, he reduced it to Rs 520 crore per aircraft, in Raipur he increased it to Rs 540 crore,” said Jaitley in his Facebook blog. Also Read - Coronavirus: Total Positive Cases Climb to 1024, Death Toll Reaches 27, State Borders Sealed | Top Points
“In Jaipur he used the two figures – Rs 520 crore and Rs 540 crore in the same speech. In Hyderabad, he invented a new price of Rs 526 crore. Truth has only one version, falsehood has many. Are these allegations being made without any familiarity with the facts of the Rafale purchase,” he added. Also Read - 'Stand Together With Govt But Sudden Lockdown Created Immense Panic', Rahul Gandhi Writes to PM
Jaitley’s remarks came amid repeated attacks by the Congress president against Modi government for allegedly inking the deal at a much higher price than the one the previous UPA regime had negotiated to benefit “one businessman”.
Jaitley accused the Congress of “peddling untruth” on the Rafale aircraft deal, saying the “false campaign” by the opposition party and its leader Rahul Gandhi was seriously compromising national security.
In the blog, he posed 15 questions to Gandhi and said the deal NDA government had entered into with France on April 10, 2015 for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets was on “better” terms than the one agreed to by the UPA government in 2007.
“I am asking these questions as his misadventure is impairing national interest and I hope Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party would respond immediately,” he wrote.
“Congress party’s false campaign launched on Rafale aircraft deal based on peddled untruth has been casting a cloud on the Inter-Governmental agreement & seriously compromising national security,” he said.
Jaitley said Congress and Gandhi were guilty on three counts – delaying the deal by over a decade comprising national security, speaking of falsehood on pricing and procedure, and further delaying the defence procurement by raising these issues.
“Needless to say that I am constrained by the secrecy clause which exists in the contract and whatever I ask or respond to would be constrained by that limitation,” he said.