Rahul Gandhi's lies on Rafale deal exposed, he should apologise: BJP

The government's argument on price and faster delivery of Rafale jets has been demolished, Gandhi had claimed.

Rahul Gandhi's lies on Rafale deal exposed, he should apologise: BJP
File photo

NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi's "lies" on the Rafale aircraft deal have been "exposed", the BJP said Wednesday, and demanded an apology from him after the CAG in its report said the deal was 2.86 per cent cheaper than what the UPA government had negotiated in 2007.

BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also cited the Supreme Court order which had said there was "no occasion to doubt the process" of the Rafale deal, to assert there is nothing left for Gandhi to question the deal but he has been peddling lies and fake information by misrepresenting facts.

At his press conference earlier Wednesday, Gandhi had criticised the CAG report for not mentioning the "dissent note" by negotiators and claimed that it was not worth the paper it is written on.

The government's argument on price and faster delivery of Rafale jets has been demolished, Gandhi had claimed.

Hitting back, Prasad cited the CAG report to say that the deal signed by the Modi government was cheaper and will result in faster delivery of 36 Rafale jets that India is buying from Dassault Aviation.

"We never imagined that Indira Gandhi's grandson and Rajiv Gandhi's son will lie so shamelessly" he told reporters.

In light of the SC order and the CAG report, Gandhi should withdraw his allegations and tender an apology, he demanded.

He accused the previous UPA government of delaying the finalisation of the aircraft's purchase and claimed the delay happened because "there would be no deal without a deal" under the Congress-led dispensation.

He alleged the Congress-led government sought "commission" in such transactions.

Noting that Gandhi had cited Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, a public sector unit, being not part of the Rafale manufacturing to attack the Modi government, the BJP leader said the CAG has observed that HAL would take 2.7 times the man hours that Dassault would for preparing a jet. That arrangement would have delayed the process and made it costlier, Prasad said.

Taking a dig at Gandhi, he said it is a matter of serious discussion how much the Congress president understands the CAG report, pointing out that Gandhi on Tuesday used an email "about helicopters" to say that it referred to Rafale jets.

"It is very worrisome that he cannot differentiate between helicopters and Rafale fighter jets," he said.

Quoting the email, which was from an internal Airbus communication, Gandhi has alleged that businessman Anil Ambani was aware in advance about the Rafale deal.

The Congress president is working at the behest of foreign companies, Prasad alleged. The CAG has said the deal for 36 Rafale jets signed by the Modi government got 2.86 per cent cheaper than what the UPA dispensation had negotiated in 2007.

On India-specific enhancements, CAG said the NDA deal was 17.08 per cent cheaper than the 2007 proposal. The weapons' package offered in the 2015 deal was 1.05 per cent cheaper, it said.