UPA delayed Rafale purchase, much required for combat ability of IAF: Jaitley
After Rahul Gandhi's barbs on the NDA's Rafale deal, faulting the government for making changes in it without consultation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit back saying the Congress President was trying to create a controversy around India's sensitive defence requirements to compensate for his "failed politics".
Accusing the UPA government of delaying the Rafale purchase, he claimed the Modi-led NDA government bought the fighter aircraft at a price cheaper than what UPA was negotiating.
Jaitley's remarks came after Gandhi sharpened his attack on the Prime Minister as the Centre made public the document submitted to the Supreme Court detailing the decisions to procure 36 fighter aircraft from France.
"Modi has admitted to his theft in the Supreme Court. In the affidavit, he admitted to changes in the contract without asking the Air Force and putting Rs 30,000 crore in Ambani's pocket," Gandhi had tweeted in Hindi.
In the document submitted to the Supreme Court, the government defended the deal and asserted that the purchase of the fighter aircraft was in conformity with the process laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2013.
"UPA delayed the Rafale purchase, much required for improving the combat ability of Indian Air Force," Jaitley said in a tweet.
"Realising that the Modi government bought the Rafale at a price cheaper than what UPA was negotiating, the disrupters are now resorting to petty hair-split," Jaitley said.
"Falsehood is not a substitute for Rahul Gandhi's failed politics," he added.
Gandhi has been accusing Modi of corruption, saying the deal was done to benefit his crony.
(With inputs from agencies.)