New Delhi, July 21: Accusing Rahul Gandhi of "concocting" a conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress President has seriously hurt the image of an Indian politician before the world at large.
Participating in the debate on 'no-confidence motion' in the Lok Sabha yesterday Gandhi said that Macron told him that there was no binding secrecy clause in the Rafale deal.
The statement was denied by the French government. "Rahul Gandhi, by concocting a conversation with President Macron, has lowered his own credibility and seriously hurt the image of an Indian politician before the world at large," Jaitley said in a Facebook post.
The minister also hit out at the Congress President accusing him of trivialising the no-confidence motion debate stressing "facts are always sacrosanct". "None should ever trivialise the debate. Those who desire to be Prime Minister never blend ignorance, falsehood and acrobatics."
In the post titled "Frivolity and the No Confidence Motion", Jaitley said the lead participants in the debate are normally senior political leaders. They are expected to raise the level of political discourse. "A Vote of No Confidence against the Government is a serious business. It is not an occasion for frivolity," he said.
The minister said if a participant in the debate happens to be a president of a national political party nourishing prime ministerial aspirations, every word he speaks should be precious. His facts should convey credibility. The NDA government yesterday faced the no-confidence motion brought in by opposition in Parliament yesterday.
The government won the motion by 325 against 126 votes in the Lok Sabha. In his speech, Gandhi had launched a frontal attack on the NDA government over unfulfilled promises and questioned the Rafale deal, demanding answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on why he allegedly favoured a particular businessman in the contract. Stating that Gandhi missed a great opportunity, Jaitley said "if this was his best argument for 2019, God help his party".
Attacking Gandhi, Jaitley said his lack of understanding is not only confined to basic issues but also to the niceties of protocol. "One should never misquote a conversation with a Head of Government or a Head of State. You do it once, serious people will be reluctant to speak to you or speak in your presence," the minister said.
On Gandhi's accusation about secrecy of the Rafale fighter jet deal, Jaitley said the UPA government itself had entered into the secrecy pact. "Rahul has repeatedly shown that he is ignorant of facts.
But to insist on disclosure of financial details, which indirectly involves the disclosures of the strategic equipment on the aircraft, is to hurt national interest. Cost gives away a clue to the weaponry in the aircraft," Jaitley said.
He said there is no minister who either desires to change or is constitutionally entitled to change the Constitution of India. Referring to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Jaitley said the last Indian politician who wanted the power to change the Constitution was Rahul's grandmother and "she too failed". Taking a dig at Gandhi, he said hallucinations can give momentary pleasure to a person.
"Therefore, to hallucinate after an embarrassing performance that he has won future election or to hallucinate that he is the reincarnation of Mark Antony being complemented by friends and foes alike, may give him self-satisfaction but for serious observers it is more than just self-praise - in fact a serious problem.
"Even in dynasties many successors remind you of the virtues of their predecessors. Yesterday, I reread two of Panditji's (former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru) legendary speeches - 'Tryst with Destiny' and 'Light has gone out of Lives'," Jaitley said.