Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for “concocting a conversation” with French President Emmanuel Macron regarding the procurement deal of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft.
"Rahul Gandhi, by concocting a conversation with President Macron, has lowered his own credibility and seriously hurt the image of an Indian politician before the world at large," Jaitley said in a Facebook post.
During the no-confidence motion debate in the Lok Sabha on Friday, the Congress president had alleged that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lied to the nation when she refused to reveal the price of Rafale aircraft citing a security pact with France.
He had said that there was no such security deal with France and he was told this by none other than but the French president himself.
The French government came out with a clarification and said that not revealing the actual cost of the Rafale fighter jet fell under the security pact between India and France signed in 2008. However, the statement didn’t refer to the claimed conversation between Gandhi and the French President.
Jaitley said that “facts are always sacrosanct” and one should never misquote a conversation with a Head of State as he will never feel comfortable to speak in the presence of that person.
“One should never misquote a conversation with a Head of Government or a Head of State. You do it once, serious people will be reluctant to speak to you or speak in your presence," the finance minister added.
The Congress president has been alleging a scam in the revised Rafale deal signed by the Narendra Modi government. He claimed that the price of one fighter jet was higher than what was finalised during the UPA rule.