Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley clash over Rafale in Lok Sabha

68

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday witnessed a high drama after Congress President Rahul Gandhi threatened to play a purported recording of a conversation of Goa’s heath minister stating chief minister Manohar Parriakar having all documents related to the Rafale deal with him.

Gandhi tweeted, “Goa’s minister claimed that Goa CM and former Defence Minister of India stated that he has all the files of Rafale in his house. It has been authenticated by Goa’s cabinet minister who belongs to BJP.”

A chaos broke out when Gandhi took out his mobile phone and wanted to play the recorded conversation. However, he aborted the idea after a strong protest from the ruling benches including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who alleged that after concocting French President Emmanuel Macron on the issue of disclosing the price, Gandhi was now trying to play a conversation which he knew was false. 

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also asked Gandhi to authenticate the purported conversation and sternly told him not to play any recording. 

During a discussion on the Rafale deal, the Congress has been pressing for constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).

Rahul said, “The Supreme Court verdict stated that probing Rafale scam does not come under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, but they never said that JPC shouldn’t be formed.”

“Senior officers of IAF chose Rafale aircraft after a long negotiation. They wanted 126 aircrafts. Why was it changed to 36 aircrafts? Who changed the requirement? Fundamental question to Prime Minister Modi – did the Airforce change the requirements or did the PM unilaterally without asking the Airforce?” Gandhi added.

“A latest news report stated that in DM’s file notings, DM stated that PM Modi shouldn’t interfere in Rafale deal’s negotiation,” Gandhi said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley interjected and said that Rahul Gandhi knew the recording was false and was refusing to authenticate it. He accused Gandhi of “lying and repeating falsehood” on the Rafale issue.

Jaitley also referred to Rahul’s statement on Macron and said it too was false and fabricated.