MUMBAI: As war of words between Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Congress president Rahul Gandhi continued over the Rafale deal, Reliance group chairman Anil Ambani on Wednesday said that truth will come out.
While addressing the media on the row over the Rafale deal, Ambani said: "Truth alone will come out. I have personally written to Rahul Gandhi and stated that the Congress has been misinformed, misdirected, and misled on the Rafale deal by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals."
Ambani has maintained that contrary to the allegations by the Congress, the joint venture between Reliance and Dassault Aviation has no role of the Centre. He has also filed a Rs 5000 crore defamation suit against Congress mouthpiece National Herald for an article published in the paper on the deal.
Anil Ambani's Reliance Group companies have taken on National Herald and filed two suits. The first is against Associated Journals Limited, the publisher of the National Herald, its editor in-charge and the author of the article. The second suit was filed Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil seeking Rs 5,000 crore in damages for defamation.
The Reliance Group has denied receiving any contract from the Defence Ministry and said "unfounded and incorrect" allegations are being deliberately made to "mislead people and cloud the issue." The group also said that Dassault, the French firm that is to supply 36 Rafale fighter jets, chose Reliance Defence Ltd to meet its 'offset' or export obligation in the contract and the Ministry of Defence has no role in the selection of Indian partners by the foreign vendors.
Congress has repeatedly claimed that the jets have been purchased at an escalated cost and has also questioned the joint venture between Anil Ambani's company and DA.
On Wednesday, Jaitley had hit out at Rahul questioning his knowledge about the aircraft. “Can you compare a basic aircraft's pricing with a loaded aircraft? Can you compare simple aircraft with a weaponised aircraft," Jaitley asked.
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."
However, Rahul hit back at Jaitley terming the deal as "Rafale robbery". "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," he tweeted on Wednesday.
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.