Published On : Wed, Jan 2nd, 2019

Rahul challenges Modi for debate on Rafale, counters Jaitley’s claims

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference on Rafale issue and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statements in Lok Sabha today:

“They keep asking where does the Congress get the Rs 1600 crore per aircraft figure, let me tell you from where. Jaitley ji in his speech in Parliament had said this is a Rs 58000 cr deal, so divide this by 36, what figure do you get? Rs 1,600 cr.

“So this Rs 1,600 crore figure is given to us by Jaitley ji himself,” he said.

Gandhi said that the price of Rafale aircraft has been inflated from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1,600 crore, and questioned who raised it.

He asked whether the defence ministry objected to the new Rafale contract.

Did the Air Force approve increase of Rafale jet prices, Gandhi asked.

Gandhi said that the original RFP included weaponry system and Rs 526 crore was not the cost of bare aircraft.

“One thing I found very surprising and interesting in his interview yesterday was that PM said the allegation is not against me personally. What world is the PM living in?” Gandhi quipped.

He once again sought a probe by joint parliamentary committee and asserted that ‘two names’ will come up in the probe.

“One of Anil Ambani and other of Narendra Modi,” Gandhi said.

He also referred to the alleged audio tape purportedly showing Goa CM Manohar Parrikar saying that he has ‘some secrets’ about the Rafale deal.

“What kind of secrets does Mr Parrikar have that he can blackmail the PM of India,” Gandhi said.

“I challenge the PM for a one-on-one debate on Rafale but he doesn’t have the guts,” Gandhi said.