Untruths & Vulgarity No Reason For PM Modi To Participate In Rafale Debate: Arun Jaitley

| September 23 , 2018 , 12:29 IST

Amidst a heavy onslaught of allegations of corruption and collusion on the Rafale fighter jet deal with France levelled by Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that untruths and vulgarity are no reason for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to participate in the debate.

"Let me tell you, those who are to speak have spoken. Merely because somebody can resort to untruths and vulgarity is no reason for the PM to participate in a debate of this kind," Jaitley said to ANI in an exclusive interview.

Union Minister Jaitley responded to the latest allegations quoting former French President Francois Hollande as saying that the French government had no option but to go with Reliance in the Offsets deal with Dassault.

"It is a highly questionable statement for the reason that it goes contrary to all acquisition procedures. It goes contrary to not only what the government of India is saying, but what the French government is saying and what Dassault themselves are saying. The procedures are, under this contract, the Government of India purchased fully built up and weaponised aircrafts from Dassault in a Government-to-Government agreement," Jaitley said.

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"The aircrafts are to be manufactured and weaponised in France. They will come straight to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and will be used by them. Where is the question of Dassault having a partner in India? Partner is for manufacturing or for any other activity relating to these 36 aircrafts (when) you require something to be done in India. There is absolutely nothing to be done in India, except that the Government of India (GoI) purchases them for the IAF. So when the former French President uses the word partnership, I am afraid he doesn't seem to remember what the basics of the contract were," Jaitley added.

"If you look at the second statement he (Hollande) made on the sidelines of a conference in Montreal, which the AFP has released yesterday, he says, 'I'm not aware of any pressure created by the GoI for this company. Only Dassault can tell you. The partners had selected themselves. The French government was not involved," he said.

ALSO READ: Rafale Deal: Reliance Group Was Proposed By Indian Government, Says Former France President Francois Hollande

Jaitley also slammed Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his tweet on Saturday comparing the Rafale deal to a surgical strike on the Indian Defence forces.

Rahul Gandhi had tweeted, "The PM and Anil Ambani jointly carried out a One Hundred & Thirty Thousand Crore, SURGICAL STRIKE on the Indian Defence forces. Modi Ji you dishonoured the blood of our martyred soldiers. Shame on you. You betrayed India's soul."

Arun Jaitley said, "It is a highly objectionable statement. Surgical Strike is something India must be proud of. Your patriotism is questionable if you are ashamed of it and refer to it in a derogatory manner."

The Finance Minister added, "The Surgical Strike was when the GoI and Indian Army had the courage and professionalism to carry out a near perfect operation by crossing the border and destroying the terrorist camps. Is it something for the Congress party to be ashamed of and refer to in a derogatory manner?"

He continued, "What is not compromising the national security of the country and the Army says that you need an aircraft with weaponised ability to target from a distance. We need the combat ability of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to be increased. The IAF has been crying since 2001. You waste ten years and then abandon the deal. If he wanted to use the word surgical strike, he should have used it then. To expedite something which is in the security requirement of the country can hardly be referred in derogatory manner."

The Finance Minister also confirmed that there was no question of the Rafale deal being scrapped.

"No question of the deal being scrapped. These jets are coming to India. They will enhance the combat ability of the IAF. By allegations, you don’t prove anything," said Arun Jaitley.

Bewakoof Janta

If you buy a Rs 100 thing for Rs 300, the seller will happily dance to your tune Mr. Jaitley. Circumstantial evidence points to the complicity of our great PM in this deal. Why was Mr. Ambani with the PM when this deal was signed. Why GOI did not object to HAL being ignored? And why are we buying only 36 aircrafts for the price of 108? I think joint parliamentary committee may bring out the truth. Why are you afraid? Maximum no. Of members will be from your party only. Do you fear something dark and hidden will come out?