NEW DELHI: Rubbishing finance minister Arun Jaitley‘s claim that UPA defence ministers had not revealed the cost of arms purchases, Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted three parliamentary replies in which Congress ministers gave details of costs of procuring fighter jets and naval carriers.
Addressing the finance minister as “Dear Mr Jaitlie”, Rahul tweeted, “To nail your lie, here are three parliamentary replies by the UPA with full transparency on pricing. Now, do ask our Raksha Mantri to tell India how much each Rafale jet cost.”
Dear Mr Jaitlie, You said the UPA never released prices of Defence purchases? To nail your lie, here are 3 Parlia… https://t.co/RWV6LpVTlZ
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) 1518176976000
The tweet, with the hashtag “deal mein kuch kala hai” (there is something fishy in the deal), came a day after Jaitley told Lok Sabha that he had 15 parliamentary replies in which UPA had blocked a response on arms purchases by calling the matter classified. The finance minister taunted that Rahul should learn from former President Pranab Mukherjee (who was also defence minister) and accused him of “seriously compromising national securi ty”.
Getting back, the Congress chief pasted three replies given by UPA defence minister A K Antony about costs of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, upgrade of Mirage fighters and Sukhoi deal. When Jaitley slammed Rahul for his demand to know the cost of Rafale purchase during his reply to the discussion on the budget in Lok Sabha, the Congress chief had sought permission from the Speaker to intervene but was denied. It was a point that Congress highlighted while backing Rahul on Friday.
Given Rahul’s quick response and his repeat of “Jaitlie” – for which the BJP on an earlier occasion had filed a privilege motion in Parliament – the matter is unlikely to rest. Interestingly, Congress is pursuing the issue without much support from the opposition camp barring the Left bloc.
Asked by reporters about the pun on the finance minister’s name, Rahul narrated the background and asked, “So what else do I call him. That’s what I have to call him because he is not telling the truth.” Yet again, Congress held a press conference demanding that government make public the cost of Rafale jets, questioning the defence minister’s decision to bloc the information on the grounds that it was classified. Source : timesofindia