Rafale Deal: Rahul Hits Back at Jaitley, Says Order JPC Probe

Rafale Deal: Rahul Hits Back at Jaitley, Says Order JPC Probe

India

Dismissing Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's latest defence of the government over the choosing of an offset partner in the Rafale deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday, 23 September, asked him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "stop lying" and instead order for a JPC probe.

“It’s high time he (Jaitley), the RM (Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman) and our Prime Minister stop lying and call a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) to establish the full, un-corrupted truth about the Rafale scam,” he said.

Gandhi was referring to Jaitley’s latest comment on the deal, where he launched a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi for his comments and asserted that despite allegations, the deal will not be scrapped.

“Irrespective of the allegations, the Rafale deal will not be cancelled.” 
Arun Jaitley

Speaking to ANI, the finance minister asserted that Rafale jets were cheaper than the negotiated price of the UPA-led government. The figures of the same were presented to the CAG, Jaitley said.

Also Read : Fact Check: Anil Ambani’s Reliance Not Part of UPA-II Rafale Deal

“Fortunately, there is pricing, and for security interest, that pricing can’t be disclosed in detail. But I have come as close to this. If you take a weaponised aircraft as of 2007, add the same two things to it again and bring it to 2016 level, the 2016 level is 20 percent cheaper. Now the CAG will go into pricing. They may not eventually disclose it, but about being 9 percent and 20 percent cheaper or not, they are looking into it. Congress has submitted a memorandum. The truth will come out.”
Arun Jaitley, as quoted by ANI

Also Read : ‘Unaware if India Had Put Pressure’: Francois Hollande to AFP

Jaitley claimed that former French president Francois Hollande’s statement was “orchestrated” and “in rhythm” with Rahul Gandhi’s tweet on 30 August.

“I think he (Rahul Gandhi) is in some kind of a revenge mode. I won’t be surprised if the whole thing is being orchestrated. On 30 August, why did he (Rahul) tweet “Just wait for a while, some bombs are going to be burst in Paris”? And then what happens is in perfect rhythm with what he predicted.”
Arun Jaitley, as quoted by ANI

However, when asked if he implied that Hollande and Gandhi were linked together, the finance minister said he didn’t know. Yet, he saw a “perfect coincidence” between the tweet and Hollande’s claims.

Rahul Gandhi’s tweet from 30 August was:

Also Read : Dassault Aviation Contradicts Hollande’s Claim on Rafale Deal

‘There Can’t Be Two Versions of Truth’

He further said that there can’t be two versions of the same truth, referring to Hollande’s second statement, where he said he was unaware if the Indian’s side had pressured Dassault to work with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence.

Jaitley said that the Congress believes only the first statement made by Hollande.

“Congress can believe anything, but you must remember a basic principle of conduct, which for centuries has ruled throughout the world, which is ‘men may state inaccurate facts, circumstances never lie.”
Arun Jaitley, as quoted by ANI

Furthering his attack on Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley said:

“Pity Rahul Gandhi’s understanding - how is it a scandal if a dozen Indian companies say that for a 56,000 crore contract, if offsets are going to be 28,000 crore, I want to be among the 20 who are going to make offset supplies? Everyone will get 2000-4000 crore. How is it impropriety?”
Arun Jaitley, as quoted by ANI

On PM Modi’s Silence

FM Arun Jaitley also answered questions on why Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not yet spoken on the controversy.

“Let me tell you, those who are to speak have spoken. Merely because somebody can resort to untruths and vulgarity is no reason for the PM to participate in a debate of this kind. ”
Arun Jaitley, as quoted by ANI

Also Read : Amid Rafale Talks, Ambani Produced 2 Films For Hollande’s Partner

On Gandhi Calling PM a ‘Chor’

Rahul Gandhi had, just a day before, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a thief in Rajasthan, to which Jaitley responded saying:

“Public discourse is not a laughter challenge, you go and hug someone, wink at someone, then keep giving wrong statements. In a democracy you have right to criticize but the choice of words should be such that it shows some semblance of intelligence.”
Arun Jaitley, as quoted by ANI

The former finance minister also responded to Rahul Gandhi’s tweet on Rafale Deal being a ‘surgical strike.’

“It is a highly objectionable statement. Surgical strike is something India should be proud of. Your patriotism is questionable if you are ashamed of it and refer to it in a derogatory manner.”
Arun Jaitley, as quoted by ANI

Reactions Post Jaitley’s Interview

Following Jaitley’s allegations against Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge told ANI:

Modi ji has kept him (Jaitley) in the Cabinet only to make comments and attack Opposition. I would like to tell Jaitley ji, your tall claims and words are not going to fill the stomach of the common man. 

Former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav reacting to the blame-game between the Congress and the BJP told ANI that the need of the hour was the drawing up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to take control of the situation.

“We demand a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Rafale deal. Without a JPC the truth will not come out, the issue has now become global,” he said.

Addressing a press briefing, former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma said: “Union Ministers are trying to hide PM Narendra Modi’s lies. They repeatedly and blatantly lie. This shows the nature of the current government,” ANI reported.

Adding that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Jaitley were “competing” against one another to uphold Modi’s “lies”, Sharma said:

“My message to Mr Modi is very clear. He cannot escape. All those who will try to cover up the scam of the century will be exposed. This has global ramifications.”

Also Read : ‘#RahulKaPuraKhandanChor’: Nirmala Reacts to Rahul’s Allegations

(With inputs from IANS and ANI)

(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Follow our India section for more stories.

India

    Also Watch