BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday targeted the Congress for its attack on the government over the Rafale fighter jet deal, saying disclosing its details in Parliament will harm national interest and that the UPA dispensation had also followed a similar practice. At a BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, he told MPs that sharing all details of the deal such as expenditure incurred on its weaponry and the technological know-how will only alert India’s enemies and harm the country’s interests, according to some leaders present there.
Even the UPA government did not share details of defence deals finalised by it for similar reasons of secrecy, he said. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said Shah told party MPs that broader details of the transaction, including that it would cost over Rs 58,000 crore, have been shared but break-up of expenditure cannot be made public.
Shah also lauded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s reply on the matter in Lok Sabha on Thursday. Jaitley had accused the Congress of “seriously compromising” on national security by demanding disclosure of details of the Rafale deal.
He had also asked its president Rahul Gandhi to “learn” from former defence minister Pranab Mukherjee “lessons on national security”. Shah in his address also described Gandhi as “undemocratic”, saying this mindset was behind the Congress disrupting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.