Opposition hauls up govt over Rafale

Opposition hauls up govt over Rafale


The Congress campaign against the BJP-led NDA government on the Rafale deal gathered steam on Sunday with Opposition parties echoing the demand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on the issue.

The rhetoric on Rafale was on its highest pitch with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former finance minister P Chidambaram and senior leader Anand Sharma targeting the ruling party even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley locked horns with the Opposition.

Jaitley led the BJP charge claiming “contradictions” and suspicion of a conspiracy in the statement of former French president Francois Hollande, which created a furore, even as Rahul shot back saying the prime minister and the finance minister must “stop lying” and call for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe for an “uncorrupted truth” to come out.

Chidambaram spoke about Jaitley’s “fertile imagination” while Sharma accused Modi of violating the oath of confidentiality by leaking information to Reliance Defence chief Anil Ambani about the purchase of 36 fighter jets from France.

The finance minister posted a blog and later gave an interview to a news agency to counter the Opposition, claiming there was some “jugalbandi” between the statements of Hollande and Rahul Gandhi.

He said there was “no question of scrapping” the deal as those are needed by the defence forces and “they should come and they will come”.

“I am surprised. On August 30, he (Rahul) tweeted that bombs are going to explode in France. How did he come to know about that? Though I do not have any proof of this jugalbandi, this creates suspicion in mind… There is definitely something... a statement (Hollande) comes, then it is contradicted. But he (Rahul) predicted this to happen 20 days in advance,” Jaitley said.

In his Facebook post ‘A Questionable Statement Which Circumstances and Facts Demolish’, Jaitley wrote referring to Rahul’s tweet, “the former French president’s first statement rhymes with Rahul Gandhi’s prediction”.

Rahul quickly countered him in a tweet, “Mr Jetlie’s speciality is his ability to spin ‘2 truths’, or lies, with fake self righteousness and indignation to defend the indefensible. It’s high time he, the RM (Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman) and our PM stop lying and call a JPC to establish the full, uncorrupted truth about the Rafale Scam.”

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