Lok Sabha begins discussion on Rafale issue; Rahul, Jaitley trade charges

RSTV Bureau

Rahul Gandhi speaks on Rafale deal in Lok SabhaLok Sabha on Wednesday witnessed high drama after Congress president Rahul Gandhi sought permission to play a purported audio tape of a Goa minister on the Rafale deal but refused to authenticate it, prompting Union Minister Arun Jaitley to accuse him speaking “lies repeatedly”.

Initiating a discussion on the Rafale issue, Gandhi accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not coming to Parliament to confront questions on the issue.

The Congress leader also rejected PM Modi’s claim in an interview that there was no personal allegation against him, saying this is not true.

“He (Modi) spoke for 90 minutes in a staged interview but still did not answer questions on the Rafale issue,” Gandhi alleged.

Is it not true that defence ministry officials objected to the new price of Rs 1600 crore, Gandhi said, accusing PM Modi of favouring his “dear friend” and “failed businessman” Anil Ambani.

Gandhi then sought permission to play an audio tape purportedly of a Goa minister on the Rafale issue.

Arun Jaitley in Lok Sabha

Arun Jaitley demanded if he can authenticate it, but the Congress leader said he would not do so.

“He knows it is wrong and hence is scared to authenticate it,” Jaitley said, adding “this man lies repeatedly”.

Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, ” There are some people who have natural dislike for truth…Some people and families understand arithmatic of money but cannot comprehend issues of national security…Conspirators of various defence deals have the audacity to raise questions against others.”