The political slugfest over the Rafale deal escalated on Sunday, with Union Minister Arun Jaitley claiming that “every word said against the government has proved to be false” and “every fact stated by vested interests against the deal proved to be manufactured”.
Hitting out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and the opposition’s “desperate attempts” to box in the government over the fighter jet deal, Jaitley said the Supreme Court’s recent ruling proved that “procedural compliances have been done in the Rafale deal and the charges on the same are misconceived”.
The Supreme Court had dismissed the opposition’s plea for a court-monitored probe into the purchase of the 36 jet aircraft.
“As a political opponent, Rahul Gandhi’s opposition to the deal was a desperate attempt. It was the UPA Government which had shortlisted the Rafale. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA), struck a deal with the French government to further improve the terms and conditions, including the prices,” Jaitley said in a Facebook post.
Continuing its tirade on the Congress chief, Jaitley alleged that Rahul’s opposition to the deal stemmed from his mere intolerance to the fact that PM Modi had successfully managed to run a corruption-free government.
“Rahul’s opposition was obviously for reasons, including his intolerance to the fact that PM Modi has run the cleanest-ever government in recent Indian history. It is a scam-free government where middlemen and scamsters had to take refuge outside the country,” he said.
Claiming that Rahul was carrying the load of a “stigmatised legacy which was tainted by Bofors”, Jaitley said, “He (Rahul) was desperately trying to bring an ‘immoral equivalence’ between Rafale and Bofors. But Rafale did not have middlemen, no kickbacks and obviously no Ottavio Quattrocchi.”
“Thirdly, with international cooperation and governmental cooperation, scamsters of the UPA Government are now being extradited into India. There is obviously a scare of who will talk how much and Rahul Gandhi got instant support from the “career nationalists” of Lutyens Delhi,” the Finance Minister added.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Anand Sharma had urged the top court to recall its Rafale judgment and issue contempt of court and perjury notices to the government, alleging the Centre had provided false information to the apex court. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, the Congress leader said: “They should seek penance and take a dip in the holy Ganges instead”.
The Centre on Saturday had approached the apex court seeking “correction” in its judgment that a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the pricing of the fighter jets “has been” examined by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Opposition leaders said there was no CAG report yet on the deal and alleged that the government had misled the court by presenting wrong facts.
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