Replying to Jaitley’s blog wherein he called Gandhi a “clown prince” and ridiculed him for “building false narratives” on different issues including the Rafale deal, the Congress called them “hollow rants” of a “desperate court jester” and said India needs a Finance Minister, not a “babble blogger”.
With Jaitley in his latest blog giving a point-by-point rebuttal to Gandhi’s charges including alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal and rising bank NPAs, the Congress posed 10 questions to the minister on the “Rafale scam” and five questions on the NPAs, demanding him to answer them.
Continuing the attack on the fighter jets deal with France, the Congress demanded to know why Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was “superseded” for Rs 30,000-crore contract to benefit cronies, why transfer of technology was “sacrificed” and why “national security was compromised” by reducing the number of aircraft from 126 to 36.
It also queried why the government was shying away from making public HAL files pertaining to a “work share agreement between HAL and Rafale maker Dassault, as claimed by former HAL chief T.S. Raju.
The party also cited a 2016 Reliance Defence press release, a presentation made by the company as well as its annual report 2016-17 to substantiate its claims that the private company bagged Rs 30,000 crore of offset contract and Rs 1,00,000 crore of life-cycle contract.
“If all this is wrong and false, we dare you to take action against Reliance Defence for misleading the nation, their shareholders and investors. But you won’t do it for Modi government no longer serves the nation but a handful of corporates,” the party said in a statement.
Reiterating its accusation of Modi government “colluding with bank looters”, the Congress citing an April 2018 Finance Ministry reply to Parliament, asked “Will you not admit that Rs 2,41,911 crore were written off in loans to select corporates by Modi government, from financial year 2014-15 to September 2017 alone? How much more loan have you waived of your crony capitalist friends”.
“Truth is that the ever depreciating rupee, the ever increasing fuel prices, declining exports, extinguished savings and phenomenally high current account deficit are your sad legacy”,” it added.