‘Defending the indefensible’: Rahul Gandhi tweets counter to Arun Jaitley on Rafale row
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who has led the opposition’s sharp campaign against the government on the Rafale deal, on Sunday repeated his demand for a parliamentary probe into the purchase of the fighter jets to establish, what he called, would be the “the full, uncorrupted truth about the #RafaleScam”.
Gandhi’s tweet was a response to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s blogpost just hours earlier that had questioned the opposition narrative. The minister’s punchline was that “truth cannot have two versions”, a reference to former French president Francois Hollande’s statements in the last few days on the Rafale fighter jet deal
“Mr Jetlie’s speciality is his ability to spin “2 truths”, or lies, with fake self-righteousness & indignation to defend the indefensible. It’s high time he, the RM & our PM stop lying and call a JPC (joint parliamentary committee) to establish the full, uncorrupted truth about the #RafaleScam,” said Gandhi, mocking the minister by twisting the spelling of his surname.
The National Democratic Alliance’s decision to enter a $8.7 billion government-to-government deal with France to buy 36 Rafale warplanes has become controversial with the Congress, claiming that the planes were being bought for three times the bid received when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power. Gandhi alleges that the deal was being struck to benefit Reliance Defence.
The government has repeatedly denied that it has anything to do with the decision of the French manufacturer Dassault Aviation to give a contract to Reliance Defence under the offset clause. So have Dassault and Reliance Defence.
On Sunday, Jaitley, in a Facebook post, said Hollande’s statements were contradictory.
“A controversy is sought to be created on the basis of a statement made by the former French President Hollande, that the Reliance Defence ‘partnership’ with Dassault Aviation was entered at the suggestion of the Indian Government. In a subsequent statement the former President has sought to suggest that Reliance Defence emerged on the scene after the agreement with the Indian Government was entered into. He has, in a subsequent statement, said that he is ‘not aware’ if Government ever lobbied for Reliance Defence and that ‘the partners chose themselves’. Truth cannot have two versions,” Jaitley said.