Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that Union Minister Arun Jaitley had abused him while responding to his questions on the controversial Rafale deal. Speaking to reporters, Gandhi said that Jaitley had evaded his questions on the Rafale deal.
He said, “Arun Jaitley ji gave a long speech. He abused me, but did not answer my questions. So, I want to repeat my questions since the Defence Minister is expected to speak today. There are 4-5 questions on Rafale.”
He asked who was responsible for increasing the price of the jet from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1600 crore? “Were they the people from the Air Force or Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself inflated the price?” he asked.
“The second question is that the Air Force needed 126 jets, but the contract was prepared only for 36 jets. Did the Air Force want 36 jets or they wanted 126 jets? The third question, who gave the contract to Anil Ambani? (Former French President Francois) Hollande ji said that it was Narendra Modi, who gave the contract to Anil Ambani. Even the internal emails of Dassault company have said that the Indian government told them to give the contract to Anil Ambani. These are the main questions and I woould want the defence minister to answer these questions on behalf of the prime minister when she speaks in the parliament,” Gandhi added.
Gandhi said that the Rafale scam will be investigated if the Congress returned to power adding that Modi himself should be investigated for weakening the national security by giving the Rafale contract to his friend and ‘international debt master, Anil Ambani.’ He said that the guilty will be punished.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman later said in the parliament that the timely purchase of the Rafale jets was a priority for the government. She said, “We have had wars in northern and western frontiers. Timely purchase of equipment should be the priority. We have to recognise the sense of urgency.”
She also said that the first aircraft will be delivered in September 2019 and 36 aircraft will be delivered in by 2022.
The Congress has alleged a huge corruption in the Rafale deal, accusing Modi of personally helping his businessman friend, Anil Ambani.