New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) Amid the row over the Supreme Court verdict in the Rafale case, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday attacked the Congress, saying “every word said against the government has proved to be false” and asserted that the audit review of Rafale was pending before the CAG.
Targeting Rahul Gandhi, who has been relentless in attacking the Modi government over the military deal with France, Jaitley said the Congress President was desperately trying to bring an “immoral equivalence” between Rafale and Bofors.
He claimed the Supreme Court’s Friday judgment has exposed “all the lies spoken on the Rafale deal” and “every fact stated by vested interests against the deal has proved to be manufactured”.
In his blog, the BJP veteran cited three reasons for Gandhi’s opposition to the deal for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2015.
“Firstly, he (Gandhi) could not tolerate the fact that Modi has run the cleanest ever government in recent Indian history.
“Secondly, Gandhi has the burden of a stigmatised legacy which was tainted by Bofors. He was desperate trying to bring an ‘immoral equivalence’ between Rafale and Bofors.
“Thirdly, with international cooperation and governmental cooperation, scamsters of the UPA government are now being extradited into India. There is obviously a scare of who will talk how much,” wrote Jaitley, in obvious reference to Christian Michel, accused in the multimillion dollar corruption case in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
Following the recent extradition of British national Michel from the UAE to India, Modi and the BJP have been targeting UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi claiming that Michel had mentioned her name in his diary and will reveal more during interrogation.
On the question of the CAG report which the apex court relied upon to dismiss multiple petitions seeking a probe into the Rafale deal, Jaitley said the Modi government had factually and accurately stated this before the court.
“The audit review of Rafale is pending before the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). All facts are shared with it. When its report is out, it will go to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
“Notwithstanding this factually correct statement made, if an ambiguity has emerged in the court order, the correct course is for anyone to apply/mention before the court and have it corrected,” he said, referring the Centre’s Saturday plea to rectify two sentences in the para 25 of the judgment where due to “misinterpretation” by the court “is” was interpreted as “has been” at one place and as “was” in another place.
Paragraph 25 of the judgment is at the centre of a controversy in which the court said: “The pricing details have, however, been shared with the CAG and the CAG report has been examined by the PAC. Only a redacted portion of the report was placed before Parliament and is in public domain.”
Jaitley said: “The CAG review is not relevant to the final findings on procedure, pricing and offset suppliers. But bad losers never accept the truth. Having failed in multiple lies they have now started an innuendo about the judgement. Having failed in their initial falsehood, the Congress is now manufacturing further lies.
“The Congress will prefer disruptions over discussion on Rafale during the current session of Parliament. On facts it lied. The judgment conclusively establishes the Congress’ vulnerabilities in a discussion on defence transactions,” added Jaitley.
Jaitley’s latest attack come in the wake of the Congress seeking a recall of the Supreme Court judgment claiming it to be tainted by “false submission by the Modi government”.
The party, including PAC Chairman Mallikarjun Kharge, have maintained that “no portion of the CAG report has been placed before Parliament or was in the public domain”.