FINANCE Minister Arun Jaitley has accused AICC President of misleading the nation by “peddling untruth” on the Rafale fighters aircraft deal saying the “false campaign” by the opposition party led Gandhi is seriously compromising national security. Reiterating that it is a government to government deal in which no third party is involved , Jaitley said Rahul Gandhi has gone to the extent of misquoting the French President .
In a Facebook blog, he posed 15 questions to Gandhi and said the deal NDA government had entered into with France on April 10, 2015 for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets was on “better” terms than the one agreed to by the UPA government in 2007.Price was also nine per cent than the accord being negotiated with the UPA government, he added.”I am asking these questions as his misadventure is impairing national interest and I hope Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party would respond immediately,” he wrote. “Congress party’s false campaign launched on Rafale aircraft deal based on peddled untruth has been casting a cloud on the Inter-Governmental agreement & seriously compromising national security,” he said.Stating that the Rafale controversy was based on “complete falsehood”, he said it was expected from national political parties and their responsible leaders to keep themselves informed of the basic facts before they enter a public discourse on defence transactions. Jaitley said Congress and Gandhi were guilty on three counts – delaying the deal by over a decade comprising national security, speaking of falsehood on pricing and procedure, and further delaying the defence procurement by raising these issues.”Needless to say that I am constrained by the secrecy clause which exists in the contract and whatever I ask or respond to would be constrained by that limitation,” he said.The finance minister said Gandhi had in Jaipur used two figures – Rs 520 crore and Rs 540 crore as the cost of each fighter jet. “Rahul Gandhi quoted a price of Rs 700 crore per aircraft in Delhi and Karnataka in April and May this year. In Parliament, he reduced it to Rs 520 crore per aircraft, in Raipur he increased it to Rs 540 crore,” he said.”In Hyderabad, he invented a new price of Rs 526 crore. Truth has only one version, falsehood has many. Are these allegations being made without any familiarity with the facts of the Rafale purchase?” he asked. In Mumbai, Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani said on Wednesday that Rahul Gandhi has been mislead and misdirected by a malicious campaign by vested interests and corporate rivalry in levelling charges against him for the Rafale deal. Addressing a press conference, he said he has written to Gandhi clarifying his position and denying the allegations he and his party were making against him and has also expressed his personal anguish over the continuing and baseless attacks against him.”I have termed these attacks as baseless and unfortunate,” Ambani said.