Gandhi issued a notice under rule 357 of conduct of business for a discussion on the Rafale deal, but the discussion could not take place.
New Delhi: Raising the pitch on the Rafale jet deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday sought a discussion on the issue in Parliament under a rule that makes it mandatory for the government give a reply and shared parliamentary replies of UPA defence ministers to counter the NDA’s claim that details of defence deals cannot be shared in the House.
Mr Gandhi issued a notice under rule 357 of conduct of business for a discussion on the Rafale deal, but the discussion could not take place.
The Congress president also hit back at Union finance minister, who had justified secrecy over the jet deal, by making public three parliamentary replies by the previous UPA government in connection with armament purchases.
By releasing the replies, Mr Gandhi sought to expose Mr Jaitley’s claim on Thursday that defence ministers of the previous UPA government too had refused to share details of armament purchases.
Mr Gandhi also tweeted, “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. Now do ask our Raksha Mantri to tell India how much each RAFALE jet cost.” He also posted the pictures of the three Parliamentary replies.
Mr Jaitley’s name in the tweet was twisted in an apparent attempt to suggest that he speaks untruths. The Congress chief is already facing a privilege motion for twisting Mr Jaitley’s surname.
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala accused the government of “doublespeak” and “sacrificing” national interests in the Rafale deal.
“What is the price per aircraft of the 36 Rafale aircraft being purchased by the Modi government? Did Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman not agree to share the price of Rafale aircraft in a press conference in Raksha Bhawan on November 17, 2017? Why are PM, RM & FM hiding the purchase price?” asked Mr Surjewala.
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.
On Friday, BJP chief Amit Shah targeted the Congress for its attack on the government over the Rafale deal.
At a BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, Mr Shah told MPs that sharing all details of the deal such as expenditure incurred on its weaponry and the technological know-how will only alert India’s enemies and harm the country’s interests, according to leaders present in the BJP meeting.
Mr Shah also described Mr Gandhi as “undemocratic”, saying this mindset was behind the Congress disrupting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, a BJP leader said.