Rahul Gandhi repeating falsehood on Rafale issue, says Jaitley in Lok Sabha
New Delhi, Jan 2: The Congress raised the Rafale issue in Lok Sabha today. The discussion took place under Rule 193 that does not entail voting. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday hit back at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of "lying and repeating falsehood" on the Rafale issue and claimed that "conspirators" in past defence scams are now raising fingers at the Narendra Modi government.
Responding to Rahul Gandhi's statement in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said, "Rahul Gandhi's argument of Rs 500 crore vs Rs 1600 crore is highly simplistic and Rahul Gandhi does not understand what a combat aircraft is. This family only understand the language of paisa and not of national security."
Jaitley accused Rahul Gandhi of lying said, "The country is disappointed because every word the Congress lead speaker (Rahul Gandhi) has said is a lie on the word of the Supreme Court. When the apex court speaks on every issue, it is treated as the last word, except for the jurisdiction on certain issues in the Parliament. Rahul Gandhi here says each of the contentions was raised before the court. There are some people who have a natural dislike for truth, from the first to the last word, every word spoken (by Gandhi) is a lie."
"On the last occasion, he (Rahul Gandhi) manufactured a conversation between him and the former French President. Today, he repeats the same. Today, he tried to produce a tap but he is too scared to authenticate it," Jaitley said.
Jaitley further accused the UPA government of playing with national security. "Rafale was essential for our forces. Defence deal conspirators are making charges," he said. The Finance Minister said that 'the family' only understands the language of money but does not value the matters of national security. Underlining the procedure followed in procuring the Rafale aircraft, Jaitley said, "Defence agreements are of two types, either through tenders or inter-governmental agreements. There were six bidders and ultimately Rafale was shortlisted. UPA postponed Rafale acquisition."
Jaitley claimed on the floor of the House that the basic aircraft prices negotiated by the NDA are cheaper than what the UPA negotiated. However, the aircraft being delivered are much more advanced when it comes to the additional weaponry attached to it. He claimed that the UPA's terms and negotiations were giving a timeline of 11 years which would have been pointless, given the urgent requirement flagged by air force.
He also claimed that the old negotiation lacked the escalation pact which regulates the rise in prices for the aircrafts which will be ordered later. He said the next order of aircrafts under UPA deal may have made Rafale even more expensive.
The finance minister also raised AgustaWestland, National Herald cases and made a veiled reference to Ottavio Quattrocchi to attack Congress leadership.