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The Congress party on Sunday tore into Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, after he denied any scam in the Rafale deal.
Earlier in the day Jaitley alleged that it was not a mere coincidence that the Opposition leaders of France and India were speaking in one voice on the controversial Rafale issue. The finance minister questioned the timing of the statement by former French President Francois Hollande that came days after Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s August 30th cryptic tweet warning of “some big bunker buster bombs in the next couple of weeks” with regard to the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal.
Venting anger over Twitter, Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the Rafale defence deal involves duplicity and the cabinet ministers will not be able to turn it away. “#RafaleScam is a ‘Crime Petrol Serial’ involving rampant corruption that ‘Court-Jesters’ can’t laugh off or spin away,” he wrote.
Reiterating his party’s stand that Prime Minister Modi pressurised Dassault Aviation to choose Reliance Industry over Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to be its Offset partner, Surjewala said, “Subterfuge and Smokescreens won’t cover the tracks of corruption. French Government’s statement tells us “what is the procedure” NOT “what transpired” between PM Modi and President Hollande wherein Modiji asked for a Rs 30,000 Cr contract to Reliance Can u dare to ask the PM?.”
Jaitley, however rebuffed Congress‘ claims, saying that it was Dassault Aviation who chose its Offset partner for the project.
“The French Government and M/s Dassault Aviation have categorically denied the correctness of the former President’s first statement. The French Government has stated that the decision with regard to the offset contracts of Dassault Aviation are taken by the company and not the Government,” Jaitley had stated.