Rahul Gandhi on Friday tweeted parliamentary records showing prices of three military acquisitions, challenging Arun Jaitley's justification for not disclosing the cost of each Rafale fighter jet on the ground of national security. These included the aircraft's cost and "handing over" the deal to a businessman after "snatching" it from a public undertaking.
"Dear Mr "Jaitlie", you said the UPA never released prices of defence purchases". To nail your lie, here are 3 Parliamentary replies by the UPA with full transparency on pricing.
On February 4, former finance minister and senior Congress leader Chidambaram had said that Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian was a "good doctor" but the NDA government had been a "terrible patient".
He also cited a number of written replies to Parliament by Defence Ministers of the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governments, where they had refused to quote the price in defence deals citing security concerns. He also went to the Twitter to ask in his "The Great Rafale Mystery" series as to "Why did the Raksha Mantri change her stance from: I will reveal the price of the Rafale planes in Nov 2017 to the price is a State secret in Feb 2018?"He provided four answers to his own question in the tweet: 'A". He also said, there were high inflationary rates in the previous regime, but now it is under control.
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The opposition parties had demanded that the speech be postponed until Zuma was removed from the leadership. Zuma normally holds cabinet meetings on Wednesdays.
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Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala accused the government of "doublespeak" and "sacrificing" national interests in the Rafale deal. "What is the price that the Prime Minister has spent on Rafale", Mr Gandhi had asked on Tuesday.
The government has denied the Congress charge that there is a huge scam in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France as being alleged by the Congress. Jaitley was replying to vociferous Congress MPs demanding the details of the Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha during the discussion on the Budget.
On Friday, BJP chief Amit Shah targeted the Congress for its attack on the government over the Rafale deal.
The Congress president is already facing a breach of privilege notice for deliberately twisting Jaitley's surname to "Jaitlie" after the finance minister's clarification to the Rajya Sabha to end a deadlock over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's objectionable remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh on the Gujarat election trail.