Minutes after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on Rafale deal was tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “The lies of ‘Mahajhootbandhan’ stand exposed.” The report disclosed that the NDA’s deal for 36 Rafale aircraft is 2.86 per cent cheaper than the deal which was negotiated by the UPA government, reported news agency PTI.
Taking a dig at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who demanded a JPC probe in the deal, Jaitley in a series of tweets wrote: “2016 vs. 2007 terms – Lower price, faster delivery, better maintenance, lower escalation. It cannot be that the Supreme Court is wrong, the CAG is wrong and only the dynast is right.”
Stating that the “Mahajhootbandhan” is now “exposed”, Jaitley wrote, “How does democracy punish those who consistently lied to the nation.”
The CAG report also states that India saved 17.08 per cent money for the India Specific Enhancements while purchasing 36 Rafale aircraft from France, as compared to the 126 aircraft deal negotiated by the UPA government. It adds that the delivery schedule of the first 18 Rafale aircraft is better than the one which was proposed in the 126 aircraft deal, news agency ANI reported.
The Congress has been repeatedly targeting the government over the deal, asking them to reveal the prices at which the jets were purchased from the French side. The party had earlier said asked the Comptroller and Auditor General of India Rajiv Mehrishi to “recuse” himself from auditing the deal, citing “conflict of interest” and “gross impropriety”. The Congress argued that since Mehrishi was a finance secretary between 2014-15 and a part of Rafale negotiation it will be improper of him to audit the Rafale deal.
Meanwhile, there was a ruckus in Rajya Sabha over the report. The House was adjourned minutes after it was tabled.