NEW DELHI: With the Congress trying to build a narrative around alleged corruption in the Rafale deal, the government on Wednesday rejected the Opposition demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the purchase of the fighter jets, with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely saying “it’s not an option” just “to satisfy the ego of an ill-informed gentleman (meaning Congress president Rahul Gandhi)”.
Jaitely’s remarks came after Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval made a detailed presentation at a Cabinet meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Rafale deal. The presentation came in the backdrop of BJP’s strategy to arm party leaders with adequate information to counter the Congress campaign on the issue.
Jaitley, who refused to reveal the details of the presentation, launched a scathing attack on the Congress saying the party had proved that “ignorance is contagious in a dynastic party”.
“One individual’s innocence and lack of knowledge have led to the whole party becoming ignorant. I gave out statistics and posed questions to them. It’s very unfortunate for the president of a national party to launch into a debate while giving figures from `500 crore to `1,600 crore (cost of each jet),” he added, reiterating that the NDA government had been able to get the jets cheaper.
At a meeting called by party chief Amit Shah on Tuesday, the BJP had decided to counter the Congress campaign on Rafale. The meeting was attended by Jaitely, Ravi Shankar Prasad and other senior leaders. “With top officials briefing ministers on the Rafale deal, the BJP will be better equipped to counter the Congress campaign,” said a party source.