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HIGHLIGHTS | ‘How much does he know?’: Arun Jaitley’s tweet attack targets Rahul Gandhi over Rafale

The Congress raised the Rafale issue in Lok Sabha today. The discussion took place under Rule 193 that does not entail voting. Here are the highlights.

By HT Correspondent | Jan 02, 2019 22:55 IST

The Congress raised the Rafale issue in Lok Sabha today. The discussion took place under Rule 193 that does not entail voting. “The Congress is ready for a discussion in Parliament on the Rafale issue but won’t give up its demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the deal,” a senior party functionary said on Tuesday.

Congress member KC Venugopal and Sankar Prasad Datta of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have given a notice for discussion on Wednesday in the Lok Sabha on issues related to the Rafale deal.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the party remained firm on its demand for a JPC probe into the deal and the debate in Parliament will have no bearing on its stand. “The demand for JPC to examine corruption in Rafale deal remains the sole uncompromising guiding path for the entire Opposition,” he asserted.

Here are the highlights:

9:50 pm IST

Rahul invites public to ask questions on Rafale

8:55 pm IST

Rahul Gandhi challenges PM Modi again

7:45 pm IST

Jaitley’s tweet attack against Rahul

7:40 pm IST

‘How much does he know?’: Jaitley targets Rahul

7:30 pm IST

Jaitley takes on Congress over Rafale deal

7:06 pm IST

Tape authentic: Rahul

I asked the Speaker can I play the tape? The Congress has made the tape available. It is authentic. There might be other tapes: Rahul

7:04 pm IST

SC did not say there should not be JPC probe: Rahul

SC judgment is clear. They said it is not their jurisdiction. They did not say there should not be any investigation or JPC probe: Rahul

7:02 pm IST

Ready for one-on-one debate with PM: Rahul

PM never came clear on the deal. If Jaitley says cost came down, why didn’t they purchase more than 126 jets? I am ready for one-on-one debate with PM. But he does not have the guts: Rahul

6:58 pm IST

Why was HAL not given contract: Rahul

HAL has so much experience. Why wasn’t it given the contract? India’s manufacturing capability would have improved. Was former French President Francois Hollande lying: Rahul

6:56 pm IST

Policies were not followed: Rahul

Policies were not followed. Offset handed to Anil Ambani: Rahul

6:54 pm IST

JPC probe will reveal truth: Rahul

Confident that once there is JPC probe, the truth will come out. Two people’s names will come up — Anil Ambani and Narendra Modi. It will be clear PM helped his friend: Rahul

6:50 pm IST

Modi helped Ambani with Rafale deal: Rahul

PM Modi helped Anil Ambani and Reliance with Rafale deal. The company was in debt: Rahul

6:46 pm IST

Why was Rafale cost inflated: Rahul

The cost was changed from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1,600 crore. Why was the cost inflated? Did the Air Force object to it? Defence minister said publicly he has no idea about new deal. And in cabinet meet, he says he has all files: Rahul

6:44 pm IST

Rahul targets BJP over Rafale

They (BJP) said it is a deal worth Rs 58,000 crore. Divide it by 36. It comes to Rs 1,600 crore. The numbers were given by them: Rahul

6:40 pm IST

Parrikar has Rafale files in his house: Rahul

The tape clearly shows Parrikar has Rafale files in his house. There might be other tapes of this nature. The entire cabinet heard what Parrikar said. He is blackmailing the PM with the information he has: Rahul

5:20 pm IST

WATCH: Jaitley uses James Bond analogy to counter Rahul Gandhi’s Rafale charge

5:02 pm IST

House adjourned till tomorrow

Ashok Kumar, Bharat Mohan, Chandrakashi, G Hari, Jayawardane, K Parshuram, K Kamraj, P Kumar, Vasanthi M, Mahendran, P Nagarajan, Parithan, KRP Prabhakaran, Anwar Raja, Rajendran, PR Sundaram, Udaykumar, and some other members named by Speaker for descending onto the well of the House and obstructing proceedings. Many members have been suspended for five sittings. House adjourned till tomorrow.

4:47 pm IST

House adjourned again

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourns House till 5 pm.

4:45 pm IST

NCP demands JPC probe into Bofors

This is a matter of national security, therefore there should not be any doubt over the deal. When earlier BJP raised demand for JPC in Bofors deal, then UPA govt agreed. Why not now: NCP

4:40 pm IST

NCP accuses BJP of crony capitalism

When ally Shiv Sena raises questions, it is a significant matter. The company that has no factory or experience, what was the need to give them contract: NCP

4:20 pm IST

Sena targets BJP over Rafale

Former HAL CMD said they can manufacture Rafale in India. It is not a correct step by govt. Why HAL was deprived. Arvind Sawant of Shiv Sena

4:15 pm IST

BJD questions choice of offset partner

During UPA regime, Dassault expressed reservations about partnering up with HAL. But we should remember HAL manufactured MiGs and Sukhois. Deal deserves transparency: BJD

4:05 pm IST

Why did govt not consider cheaper Eurofighter Typhoon: TMC

There was no bank guarantee for Dassault. Rafale was turning out to be more expensive than Eurofighter Typhoon. Why did the govt not consider the cheaper option: Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress

4:00 pm IST

TMC accuses BJP of crony capitalism

Why was a newcomer given offset contract instead of 70-year-old trusted public sector company? Reliance has a debt of Rs 8,000 crore and loss of Rs 40,000 crore. There are 72 offset partners, no one else is questioned. Maharashtra CM gave Ambani land in 2015, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated in 2017, but not even a fence was laid. Why such a company was given contract: Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress

3:54 pm IST

Why is the defence minister not speaking: TMC

Narendra Modi does not have the courage to face Parliament. He is hiding behind Arun Jaitley. Why is the defence minister not speaking: Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress

3:48 pm IST

No need for JPC after Supreme Court judgment: Jaitley

HAL and Dassault negotiations could not go through. It is essential for national security that the aircraft are supplied at the earliest. When the Supreme Court has gone through pricing and other details, how can there be JPC? This is no policy matter, or govt or administrative matter: Jaitley

3:44 pm IST

Congress manufacturing corruption charges: Jaitley

Congress manufacturing corruption charges. Offset was UPA policy, under which 30-50% materials had to be bought from India. Reliance is an offset supplier, Rahul thinks he is Rafale manufacturer. Rafale deal is of Rs 58,000 crore, how can offset deal be Rs 1,30,000 crore: Jaitley

3:38 pm IST

NDA govt had better terms on Rafale deal: Jaitley

There were escalation costs. There were discussions on cost of basic aircraft and weaponised aircraft. Cost of basic aircraft was 9% less than UPA’s time. Cost of weaponised aircraft was 20% less than UPA’s time. The time of delivery was 11 years during UPA regime: Jaitley

3:34 pm IST

Panels had 74 meetings on Rafale: Jaitley

We decided on better terms for the Rafale deal. The panels had 74 meetings, the details of which were submitted to the Supreme Court. SC said it is satisfied with the process: Jaitley

3:32 pm IST

Demand for more fighter jets cropped up time and again: Jaitley

A neighbouring country with which India doesn’t have good relations has 400 combat planes. Therefore, the demand for more fighter jets cropped up time and again: Jaitley

2:58 pm IST

UPA played with country’s security: Jaitley

UPA played with country’s security. When I was defence minister, I had a meeting with Air Force officers. Our enemies have better artillery. Our squadron strength was depleting: Jaitley

Opposition members fly paper planes in Lok Sabha.

2:54 pm IST

UPA postponed Rafale acquisition: Jaitley

Why was Rafale necessary? It would have been helpful in the Kargil war. 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

2:50 pm IST

Jaitley speaks on National Herald and AgustaWestland cases

Jaitley speaks on National Herald and AgustaWestland cases to take on Gandhi family. “Why did Christian Michel mention ‘Italian lady’ and ‘son of Italian lady’?” asks Jaitley

2:48 pm IST

Jaitley targets Rahul on Bofors

Some people understand money but not national security. When he (Rahul) was a young man, was he playing in the lap of one Q whose name cropped up in the Bofors case: Jaitley

2:46 pm IST

Rafale issue raised by a person who does not have basic understanding of aircraft: Jaitley

Some people have a natural dislike for truth. Each contention of Rahul Gandhi was dismissed by the Supreme Court. Issue raised by a person who does not have basic understanding of aircraft: Jaitley

2:40 pm IST

Arun Jaitley counters Rahul charge

Arun Jaitley starts speaking. “Every word he (Rahul) said belied in Supreme Court judgment. Judicial review last resort,” he says.

2:40 pm IST

JPC probe will bring out the truth: Rahul

Instead of ‘Make in India’, Rafale became ‘Make in France’. We demand JPC. The Prime Minister benefitted ‘AA’ (Anil Ambani). JPC probe will bring out the truth: Rahul

2:37 pm IST

Parrikar has Rafale files in his house: Rahul

“Defence ministry officials said PM should not interfere in Rafale negotiations,” says Rahul Gandhi quoting a news report. “Goa CM in a cabinet meeting said in front of everyone that Rafale files are in his house and he is aware of the whole truth.”

Sumitra Mahajan says Rahul should say ‘ex-defence minister’ and not ‘Goa CM’.

2:35 pm IST

Rafale deal snatched away employment opportunities for youth: Rahul

“Indian youth would have got the honour to be associated with Rafale had HAL got the project,” says Rahul Gandhi. “But the contract was given to Anil Ambani.”

Sumitra Mahajan says Rahul can’t take Anil Ambani’s name since he is not a member of the House.

2:24 pm IST

Are you scared of the tape: Rahul

Argument breaks out between Rahul Gandhi and Sumitra Mahajan. Rahul says, “Are you scared of the tape?”

House adjourned till 2.30 pm

2:22 pm IST

Sumitra Mahajan refuses to play tape

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan refuses to play tape, says statements have to be authenticated before being made on the floor. Opposition creates ruckus.

02: 10 pm IST

Price hiked by govt: Rahul gandhi

Everyone knew that Congress was suppose to buy the aircraft for Rs 526 crore per aircraft. When Narendra Modi went to France he met the then PM of France and a new deal was constructed and the price was hiked to Rs 1600 crore per aircraft. Why did the France PM said that the PM Modi himself told me that the new price will be valid and contract will be taken away from HAL and will be given to Ambani .

02: 08 pm IST

Who changed the demand of aircraft from 136 to 36 only: Rahul Gandhi

You (govt) changed the old deal from 136 to new deal of 36 aircraft. Did the air force changed the demand or the govt made the changes: Rahul

02: 05 pm IST

Why hasn’t a single aircraft has come to use till now if it was so urgent: Rahul

Air force wanted 126 air crafts. Why the demand changed from 126 to 36 ? What made this demand change? Did the government asked the air force to reduce the demand. The excuse was that they needed the aircraft urgently. But why didn’t a single aircraft came into use: Rahul

02: 08 pm IST

The nation is questioning the PM: Rahul Gandhi

I watched part of the PM’s interview yesterday and he said that no one is accusing him on the Rafale issue. That is not true. The entire nation is asking a direct question as to why PM did not answer the fundamental answers on Rafale. The process of deal, pricing and patronage are the three pillars about which we have been asking the PM: Rahul

12:20 pm IST

House adjourned till 2 pm

After another 20 minutes of debate on various issues, the house is adjourned till 2 pm. Rafale issue islikely to be taken up after that.

11:20 am IST

House adjourned

After discussions on recruitment and vacancies in judiciary, Lok Sabha is adjourned til 12 noon.

11: 05 am IST

Congress president Rahul Gandhi to raise the issue in Lok Sabha

President of Indian National Congress Rahul Gandhi will raise the issue of Rafale deal in Lok Sabha today.