Hitting back at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the Rafale aircraft deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday made public three parliamentary replies by the previous UPA government in connection with armament purchases. His response comes a day after Jaitley alleged that defence ministers of the previous UPA government too had refused to share details of armament purchases.
“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,” the Congress president tweeted while sharing the UPA government’s reply over the deal for the acquisition of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.
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
In his tweet, Rahul Gandhi also twisted the Finance Minister’s name to indicate that he spoke untruths. The Congress chief is already facing a privilege motion for his word play on Jaitley’s surname.
On Thursday, Jaitley mounted a counter-attack, accusing the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi of “seriously comprising India’s security” by insisting that the government disclose details of the Rafale aircraft deal. During his reply to the discussion on the Union Budget in Lok Sabha, Jaitley said Pranab Mukherjee had refused to give details of a contract by calling the informaton classified.
“Kindly ask your party president to go to Pranab Mukherjee,” he told Congress members.
“My charge is they are seriously compromising India’s security,” Jaitley had said. Break-up of armament purchase deals, he said, can divulge the kind of weapons that a country has and this is not in the “interest of the country”. Such information, he said, can let the “enemy” know about the type of weapons and capacity available with India. READ | Arun Jaitley slams Congress: Compromising India’s security by asking Rafale details
Gandhi has been stepping up attack on the present dispensation over the Rafale aircraft deal, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not revealing details because there was something “fishy” in the deal. Alleging scam in Rafale deal, he said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier said she would disclose all details about the pricing but was now saying she could not do so as it was a state secret. “Which of her two statements are correct because she has made both statements,” he asked.
“Rafale maamle main kuch na kuch gadbadi to hui hain. We had asked three questions to the Prime Minister but there is no answer,” he said. “There can be only one answer and it is that there is something fishy about this.”