Jaitley dismisses corruption charges regarding Rafale deal

Finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha on thursday

Continuing to attack the Narendra Modi government on the Rafale deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that there has been a "corruption" in the defence deal and will be "exposed".

"Dear Mr Jaitlie, You said the UPA never released prices of Defence purchases?"

Trying to raise his voice over the din, Mr Jaitley at one point told the Chair that he was running a "fever".

Earlier in the day, stepping up its offensive on the Rafale deal, the Congress posed a set of questions to the government, asking it to disclose the "purchase price" of each fighter aircraft and details of how the agreement was reached.

Reacting to this, Rahul said the unwillingness to reveal the details of the deal implies that it is a scam.

Jaitley said that the Centre had already made payments for creation of a new capital for Andhra Pradesh and also towards backward districts.

In his reply to the debate on the Budget, he had also said he had with him responses from Defence Ministers of previous United Progressive Alliance governments who had not shared details of armament purchases due to security concerns.

Jaitley said security pacts were inherent part of defence transactions "because when you disclose the details of the price, you can give an approximate price, but when you give those specific details, you are giving details of the weapon system that you possess, and the capacity of the weapon systems which you don't want to inform the enemy".

"As the Modi government stumbles and fumbles, hides and conceals, indulges in doublespeak, sacrifices national interest and refuses to answer on loss to public exchequer, India will continue to demand answers", Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter.

Referring to Modi's Parliament speech, the Gandhi scion had said that it was clear that the Prime Minister was not interested in answering "fundamental questions". "Which of her two statements are correct", he asked. "We have given so far funds as promised for a large number of institutions which are being created because most of the institutions went to Telangana", he said.



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