Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the CAG report on the Rafale deal had exposed the lies of the Congress and opposition parties. Taking to Twitter, Jaitley, who currently is a minister without a portfolio, wrote, “The lies of ‘Mahajhootbandhan’ stand exposed by the CAG Report.”
The lies of ‘Mahajhootbandhan’ stand exposed by the CAG Report.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 13, 2019
Other tweets by Jaitley read, “It cannot be that the Supreme Court is wrong, the CAG is wrong and only the dynast is right. Satyameva Jayate” – the truth shall prevail. The CAG Report on Rafale reaffirms the dictum.”
Jaitley said that the CAG report said that 2016 deal terms were lower in terms of price, faster in terms of delivery, while ensuring better maintenance and lower escalation.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on Rafale, tabled in the Rajya Sabha, said that the deal negotiated by the NDA in 2016 was 2.86 per cent cheaper than what was negotiated by the UPA in 2007.
The report, however, does not disclose the actual price of the 36 Rafale fighter jets purchased by the Centre’s Narendra Modi government. The Congress had raised objections on the impartiality of the CAG report citing the conflict of interest of the current CAG Rajiv Mehrishi, who was the finance secretary in the Modi government during the negotiations on the Rafale deal.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had said that Mehrishi auditing the deal amounted to conflict of interest. He said, “The Rafale deal took place during current CAG Rajiv Mehrishi’s tenure as finance secretary. Since it’s a corrupt deal, a probe should be done. But, how will the CAG investigate against himself? First, he will shield himself and then the government. This is conflict of interest.”
The tabling of the CAG report on the Rafale deal in the parliament came hours after a report by The Hindu newspaper said that the deal struck by Modi was no better than what the UPA government had negotiated in the past. According to the report, as many as three senior bureaucrats, who were part of the negotiating team, had objected to the higher pricing of the fighter jet being finalised by the Modi government.