Finance Minister Arun Jaitley came down heavily on the previous UPA government for not signing the deal to acquire 126 Rafale fighter jets from French firm Dassault Aviation despite five-year long protracted price negotiations between 2007 and 2012.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was unsparing in his criticism of Congress Party and other petitioners who have approached the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe into the government’s decision to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets from France to meet the urgent operational needs of Indian Air Force.
Here are the five key points in Jaitley’s criticism of the Congress Party:
Why the UPA Govt did not finalise the deal in 2012?
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi following the court verdict, finance minister Arun Jaitley came down heavily on the previous UPA government for not signing the deal to acquire 126 Rafale fighter jets from French firm Dassault Aviation despite five year long protracted price negotiations between 2007 and 2012. Jaitley accused the previous government of compromising the needs of Indian Air Force and national security by not signing the deal during its tenure and then for putting the blame on NDA government for acquiring 36 fighters as an urgent measure.
Aircraft price given by Congress a piece of ‘fiction writing’
Following the Supreme Court decision that rejected all the petitions seeking a probe in the Rafale deal, finance minister Jaitley said that the government has indicated on more than one occasion both inside and outside the Parliament that the price of the ‘aircraft without weapons’ and also the price of the ‘weaponised aircraft’ was much cheaper than the price negotiated by the previous UPA government in 2012. Jaitley said ‘interested parties have become commentators’ in the matter. Jaitley called the price given by Congress leaders a piece of ‘fiction writing’.
No need for JPC after SC demolished all the logic of petitioners
Finance Minister out-rightly rejected the demand of Congress party to constitute a joint parliamentary committee to probe the Rafale deal, saying that partisan political forums are not the appropriate forums to decide on important defence related matters. Referring to B. Sankaranand led joint parliamentary committee that gave clean chit Rajiv Gandhi as it was packed with Congress members, Jaitley said every ‘observation’ made in the committee’s report turned out to be wrong. Sankaranand committee’s report was tabled in Parliament in April 1988 but was boycotted by the opposition parties.
Role of Gandhi-Nehru family in stoking the Rafale controversy
In response to a question about the reaction of Congress leaders following the SC verdict that the court was not appropriate forum for raising this issue, finance minister Arun Jaitley did not mince any words, he referred the Gandhi-Nehru family as the creators of falsehood that were bound to fail. He asked: “Can they question the Supreme Court Judgement? Is the family above the Supreme Court?”
Jaitley seeks apology from Congress leadership
Following the court verdict that dismissed all the petitions seeking court monitored probe in the Rafale deal, Jaitley sought apology form the Congress President Rahul Gandhi for lying to the nation. Jaitley said that in other democratic countries of the world there is a well established tradition of tendering apology by those politicians who lie to the people. Jaitley said: “If the politicians who lied to the nation hold some office then there is tradition of impeachment against such political leaders.”