Hollande contradicted himself; no question of scrapping Rafale deal: Jaitley

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 23 September 2018, 10:42 PM
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday made it clear that “irrespective of the allegations, the Rafale jets deal will not be cancelled”. 
In an interview to news agency ANI, Jaitley said whether the planes are bought at a higher rate or not is a matter for the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to examine. 
He also said the present Rafale aircraft are cheaper than what the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had negotiated and added that all these facts and figures will be placed before the CAG.

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"Fortunately, there is pricing, and for security interest, that pricing can’t be disclosed in detail. But I have come as close to this. If you take a weaponised aircraft as of 2007, add the same two things to it again and bring it to 2016 level, the 2016 level is 20% cheaper. Now the CAG will go into pricing. They may not eventually disclose it, but about being 9% and 20% cheaper or not, they are looking into it. Congress has submitted a memorandum. The truth will come out,” Jaitley said.

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Earlier in a Facebook post titled 'A Questionable Statement Which Circumstances & Facts Demolish', Jaitley wrote: "The former French President's first statement rhymes with Rahul Gandhi's prediction."       

The minister also accused the Congress party leaders of using vulgar language and said public discourse is not a "laughter challenge".       

"I have said how public discourse should be. It is not a laughter challenge. You go and hug someone, then you wink, utter lies 4-6-10 times. Your words should reflect intellect. Vulgarity and abusive language does not suit the world's largest democracy,? he added.

He also questioned the timing of the statement by former French President Francois Hollande that came days after Congress President Rahul Gandhi's August 30 tweet warning of "some big bunker buster bombs in the next couple of weeks" with regard to the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal.

The finance minister said: “I won’t be surprised if the whole thing is orchestrated. On August 30, why did he tweet ‘some bombs are going to burst in Paris’? And then what happens is in perfect rhythm with what he predicted.”
On being pressed to say that if is indicating that both India and France are colluding with each other, Jaitley said, "I don't know. But I see a perfect coincidence in the rhythm between his tweet on August 30 and what happens when a statement is made which is found to be inaccurate and, therefore, the next day itself, Mr Hollande goes and starts backtracking it."

First Published: Sunday, September 23, 2018 11:11 AM
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