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15 Questions to Rahul on Rafale, Congress Running False Campaign: Arun Jaitley

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15 Questions to Rahul on Rafale, Congress Running False Campaign: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday launched a sharp attack on Rahul Gandhi, countering Congress allegations on the Rafale fighter aircraft deal.

In a blog post titled ‘15 Questions that Expose Congress Party’s Falsehood on Rafale’, Jaitley accused Gandhi and the Congress of delaying the deal by more than a decade and seriously compromising national security. He said each claim made by the Congress on the pricing and procedure of the deal is “completely false”.

“For reasons best known to the UPA Government, on 27th June, 2012, the deal was directed to be re-examined, which effectively meant that the entire eleven-year exercise was abandoned and the process was to be undertaken afresh. India’s squadron strength was depleting because of age. This slow and casual approach of the UPA Government seriously compromised national security requirements,” the finance minister pointed out.

Election News India: The Congress has accused the Modi government of not disclosing the price of the aircraft and alleged that the price was three times higher than that negotiated during the UPA dispensation with France’s Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of the aircraft. The Congress has also accused Modi of “personally benefitting” from the deal, and alleged that it was the reason behind his continued silence on the issue.

It has also accused Modi of helping his “friend” Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group in getting offset contracts for the aircraft, bypassing the public-sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The Reliance Group has sent defamation notices to many Congress leaders warning them against levelling charges that are “misleading”.

The company has asked Congress leaders to “cease and desist” from levelling such charges.

Anil Ambani recently wrote to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the deal, saying his party has been “misinformed, misdirected and misled” by “malicious vested interests and corporate rivals” on the issue.

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