Take lessons on national security from Pranab Mukherjee: Jaitley to Rahul
New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of “seriously compromising” national security by demanding disclosure of details of the Rafale fighter jet deal and also “manufacturing” corruption allegations against the NDA government.
Jaitley’s attack against the Congress in the Lok Sabha during which he defended the government’s decision against making the break-up of the nearly Rs 58,000 crore deal public came even as Congress president Rahul Gandhi fired a fresh salvo at the government. Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not answering his questions because there was something “fishy” about it.
Amid acrimony between Congress and BJP members, Jaitley also advised Gandhi to “learn” from former defence minister Pranab Mukherjee “lessons on national security.”
“Your party was stigmatised when you were in government because of allegation of corruption. Now the new act is, let us manufacture an allegation of corruption against the NDA. So when you couldn’t find anything, you said please disclose the price of the Rafale deal,” Jaitley said while replying to a discussion on the Union Budget.
“I charge the Congress of seriously compromising India’s security…Mr Modi has run a clean government for last 4 years, so let us manufacture a crisis, let us manufacture an issue. And the manufactured issue is, please tell me the details of the Rafale deal,” the finance minister said referring to the demands by the Congress to make public details of the government-to-government deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
Jaitley said when UPA was in power, then defence ministers Pranab Mukherjee and AK Antony had on 15 occasions told Parliament that giving out such details would be against the interest of national security. He said one of the questions then related to missiles being procured from Israel.
He said the Congress president should go to Mukherjee and “get lessons on national security.”
Gandhi has been targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 2016 deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets. “What is the price that the Prime Minister has spent on Rafale,” Gandhi had asked on Tuesday.
Alleging that something wrong has happened in the Rafale deal, Gandhi also noted that the country has to understand that the Prime Minister talked about corruption and had said he will launch an attack on it.
“But in the Rafale deal, there has been corruption and the Prime Minister is protecting those who have done corruption,” Gandhi alleged without elaborating.