Congress peddling untruth on Rafale deal: Jaitley.

Congress peddling untruth on Rafale deal: Jaitley.

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Johnson Cherian.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday accused the Congress of “peddling untruth” on the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, saying a “false campaign” by the Opposition party and its leader Rahul Gandhi was seriously compromising the national security.
In a Facebook blog, he posed 15 questions to Mr. Gandhi. He said the deal National Democratic Alliance government had entered into with France on April 10, 2015 for purchase of 36 Rafale jets was on “better” terms than the one agreed to by the United Progressive Alliance government in 2007.
“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.
Mr. Jaitley alleged that the Rafale controversy was based on “complete falsehood”. He said, ”It is 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.”
‘Many versions of falsehood’
Mr. Jaitley said the Congress and Mr. Gandhi were guilty on three counts — delaying the deal by over a decade compromising the 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 Minister said Mr. Gandhi had in Jaipur used two figures — ₹520 crore and ₹540 crore as the cost of each fighter jet.
“Rahul Gandhi quoted a price of ₹700 crore per aircraft in Delhi and Karnataka in April and May this year. In Parliament, he reduced it to ₹ 520 crore per aircraft, in Raipur he increased it to ₹540 crore,” he said.
“In Hyderabad, he invented a new price of ₹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.

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