Congress president Rahul Gandhi has hit back at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the latter’s attack on the issue of Rafale fighter jets. The Congress chief thanked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader for “bringing the nation’s attention back to the great Rafale robbery”.
Suggesting that a joint Parliamentary committee be constituted to look into the purchase of the fighter jets from France, the Congress president sought a response from Arun Jaitley in the next 24 hours.
Mr Jaitley, thanks for bringing the nation’s attention back to the GREAT #RAFALE ROBBERY! How about a Joint Parliamentary Committee to sort it out? Problem is, your Supreme Leader is protecting his friend, so this may be inconvenient. Do check & revert in 24 hrs. We’re waiting!
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 29, 2018
He also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the “supreme leader is protecting his friend”, adding that because of this, the government may not agree for the formation of a joint Parliamentary committee over the issue.
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, the Gandhi scion said, “Mr Jaitley, thanks for bringing the nation’s attention back to the GREAT #RAFALE ROBBERY! How about a Joint Parliamentary Committee to sort it out? Problem is, your Supreme Leader is protecting his friend, so this may be inconvenient. Do check & revert in 24 hrs. We’re waiting!”
This came after the Union Finance Minister attacked Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of converting the Rafale issue into a “kindergarten or primary school debate”. He had also asked the Congress chief whether a weaponised aircraft could be compared with a simple aircraft.
“Can you compare a basic aircraft's pricing with a loaded aircraft? Can you compare simple aircraft with a weaponised aircraft?” said Jaitley.
Terming Rahul Gandhi’s allegations as factually false, Jaitley had said, “Every fact that they have said on pricing is factually false... Mr Rahul Gandhi himself has given seven different prices in different speeches with regard to the Rafale, that is the 2007 offer. And the simple case is they have made it as if it is a kindergarten or primary school debate.”
The Congress party had rejected the contention of the Union Finance Minister that the government had nothing to do with the selection of partners for offset supplies. Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma had said, "For him (Jaitley) to say that offset is not part of the contract is wrong," he said. Sharma also demanded a probe alleging that Anil Ambani's Reliance Group had prior information that PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited would not get the offset contract.