Hitting out at the Congress and other Opposition.parties, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said they are raising "fake issues" and creating an "echo effect" of it as they don't have any real issues against the government. In a blog, the senior BJP leader said while the Narendra Modi.government is contesting the Lok Sabha elections on "a pro-incumbency performance platform", the Opposition is in "a state of panic" and has a single point "negative" programme - 'remove one man'.
He wrote that he had analysed the issues raised by the Opposition, including the Rafale, the GST, demonetisation, bank loan waiver, Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Pulwama and Balakot, and that each of these were "fake". "In the absence of any real issue against the government, (Congress President) Rahul Gandhi has led not only his party but the entire Opposition to rely on fake and manufactured issues," Jaitley said.
"They raise fake issues, create an echo effect and then believe their falsehood to be true," he said, adding, "if fake issues are taken out of Rahul Gandhi's speech, nothing will perhaps be left." Jaitley said the government has a leader with whom "the comfort level of the voter is high" while "the Opposition is in a state of panic".
Contending that "the Opposition is in pathetic state", the senior minister said, "It has to manufacture fake issues against the government since the real ones don't exist. The Opposition underestimates the wisdom of the electorate. I am confident that the electorate will respond to India's Opposition.parties and show them their place." He said it is a recognition of the performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government that "the Opposition, after five years, has no real issue" against the government.
The voter has a huge potential to distinguish between truth and falsehood, he said, adding "Truth holds. Falsehood falls apart." Referring to the Rafale issue over which Rahul Gandhi is leading a sustained campaign against the Prime Minister, Jaitley said all "truth" is that both the Supreme Court and the CAG have cleared the deal.
"The government has saved thousands of crores of the exchequer in the Rafale deal compared to the prices quoted in 2007. All procedures have been followed and not one rupee favour has been shown by the government to any domestic industrialist," the Finance Minister said. "Rafale is not to be manufactured in India at all. The Supreme Court has already examined and cleared this aspect," he added.
On Nirav Modi, Jaitley said the Opposition alleges that was helped by this government while the "truth" is that he had started defrauding the banks in 2011 when the UPA was in power. "His crime was detected in 2018 by the present government and its agencies. All his assets have been frozen, criminal cases filed for prosecution and extradition proceedings launched against him. Some assets are being auctioned," he said.
"It is only a matter of time before India gets him to face the consequences in India. Nobody who frauds India can escape," he added. On Opposition charge that the government had helped Vijay Mallya, Jaitley said the industrialist and his company were given loans when the UPA was in power.
"In fact, banks were directed in 2010 to give a second restructuring of the NPAs of Vijay Mallya. There is documentary evidence which confirms this. It was on the strength of this restructuring that he got his account regularised and eventually did not pay the bankers," the Finance Minister said. "He (Mallya) escaped. No steps against him were taken by the UPA. The NDA (government) have filed civil and criminal litigation against him and succeeded in the extradition proceedings. An appeal against the extradition order is now being heard in the United Kingdom," he said.
On Pulwama and Balakot, Jaitley said the Opposition alleges that the government is politicising the terrorist attack and the Indian Air Force strike in Pakistan wherein the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camps were liquidated. He said the "truth" is that "our security forces have liquidated innumerable terrorists in the recent months. The terrorists, however, managed to strike at Pulwama. Our security forces liquidated the terrorists within days."
With regard to the IAF strike of February 26, he said, "On receiving information that a very large terrorist camp was being operated at Balakot in Pakistan, the Prime Minister directed the Indian Air Force to strike at the camp. The Indian Air Force did a commendable job. It was a perfect exercise. They liquidated the terrorists and the camps." He said the IAF also resisted the counter-attack the following day by the Pakistan Air Force by pulling down an F-16.
"The Air Force Chief has confirmed this. Independent satellites quoted by various Indian media organisations conclusively establish the damage done by the strikes. The Indian Armed Forces are extremely professional. They consider it not in the interest of national security and military discipline that the details of military operations should be placed in public domain," he added.