A day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi of seriously compromising India’s security by insisting that the government disclose details of Rafale fighter deal, the Congress on Friday asked how revealing cost of the deal will affect national security.
The Congress said contrary to Jaitley’s claim, UPA’s Defence ministers had disclosed in Parliament and outside the estimated cost of procurement of 42 Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft, upgrade cost of Mirage aircraft, the cost Kaveri engine development project, and the cost of acquisition of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov from Russia.
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Party chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Dear Mr Jaitlie, You said the UPA never released prices of Defence purchases? To nail your lie, here are 3 Parliamentary replies by the UPA with full transparency on pricing. Now do ask our Raksha Mantri to tell India how much each RAFALE jet cost.”
Dear Mr Jaitlie,
You said the UPA never released prices of Defence purchases?
To nail your lie, here are 3 Parliamentary replies by the UPA with full transparency on pricing.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 9, 2018
Responding to Rahul’s tweet, BJP national spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao posted on the micro-blogging site: “Rahul Gandhi is adopting the “Big Lie” technique of Adolf Hitler that a lie repeated often will be perceived as truth. Gandhi family is synonymous with defense bribes & has no credibility. Ra(w)hul looks ridiculous when he utters such big lies. Daal kaala nehin, aap ki neeyat mein khot hai.”
Asked why he called Jaitley as “Jaitlie”, Rahul said, “We have given examples of very similar prices during the UPA time. Arun Jaitley-ji yesterday said in Parliament that we [UPA ministers] did not show the prices. And we have shown that we did. So what else do I call him?”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also asked how disclosing cost of the deal would affect national security: “We are not asking for disclosure of specifications or the payload of the aircraft. We are not asking details of the equipment fitted in the aircraft…which gun or missile is loaded, and what is their range…. But the cost of the deal is not an issue of national security — it is an issue of loss to public exchequer,” he said.