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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

After Rafale deal ruling, Amit Shah’s counter-offensive on Rahul Gandhi and some questions

BJP chief Amit Shah also asked why Congress governments had not gone for government to government deals in the past.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2018 22:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
After Supreme Court ruling on Rafale deal, BJP chief Amit Shah attacked the Congress, saying ‘slap on politics of falsehood’
After Supreme Court ruling on Rafale deal, BJP chief Amit Shah attacked the Congress, saying ‘slap on politics of falsehood’(PTI)

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a bunch of petitions seeking a court-monitored probe of the Rafale jet fighter deal, and party president Amit Shah called the ruling a victory of truth and a slap on the face of those alleging corruption in the purchase.

Shah said the apex court had been confronted with three issues in dealing the case — the procedure followed in the purchase, the pricing of the aircraft and selection of offset partners — and it had not faulted the government’ on any of these.

The court noted that all procedures had been followed, the deal finalised by the government gave the country a financial advantage and it found no commercial favouritism, Shah said at a press conference.

“Truth has triumphed... Biggest attempt to mislead country since Independence... It’s a slap on the face of politics of falsehood,” said Shah.

The court also said the government had no role in choosing the offset partners for Dassualt Aviation, the manufacturer of Rafale jets, he said. “The Congress has been levelling allegations about this and the order is a slap on the face of those who have levelled these charges,” he asserted. 

The Congress has alleged that the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft, which replaced a previous one for 126 warplanes negotiated by the United Progressive Alliance, benefited businessman Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group, one of the offset partners. Ambani, who has denied any wrongdoing, on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court judgment.

Shah also hit out at the Congress for its claim that the apex court’s judgement is a “vindication” of its stand that the court cannot adjudicate on the matter, saying the opposition party lives in an imaginary world where the truth has no place. “Propriety can be decided only on the basis of facts and figures,” he said.

Shah noted that even the Supreme Court had spoken about the need for India to buy modern aircraft. “You (Congress government) harmed India’s security interests,” he said, adding that even neighbouring countries had equipped their air force with fourth generation warplanes.

Home minister Rajnath Singh also noted in the Lok Sabha that the Supreme Court observed the deal offered a financial advantage to the nation, contrary to Congress claims that the planes were overpriced compared to the price the UPA government had negotiated .

The BJP also fielded finance minister Arun Jaitley and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman to counter the Congress’s charges of wrongdoing in the Rs 59,000-crore contract. Jaitley unequivocally rejected the Congress’ demand to set up a joint parliamentary committee to investigate the deal.

He questioned why the UPA government had stopped, if not abandoned, the deal in 2012, “ why was national security compromised with and why were the needs of the IAF compromised with.”

First Published: Dec 14, 2018 13:30 IST