Trashing the Congress party's allegations over the Rafale deal, Union railway minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that the Opposition party is peddling "lies after lies." Goyal claimed that the terms of the deal finalised by the Narendra Modi-led government were much better than what was previously negotiated by the UPA.
Scaling up the government's response to Congress' attacks, Goyal claimed that the nation is witnessing the work of a "serial liar" who is completely twisting the narrative to hide the fact that the Congress is an "issue-less party."
"We have of late been experiencing the activities of a serial liar. Only an issue-less man can repeat a lie again and again. Beating a dead horse won't get them any public sympathy Even if a lie is repeated 100 times, it can never substitute the truth," Goyal said.
Countering the Congress' claims, Goyal said: "The first lie by Mr Rahul Gandhi is before the nation and the world. He twisted a French media house's report on Rafale, which the CEO of Dassault has himself said was a blatant twisting of facts."
"The Congress lied in Parliament too, where Rahul said he personally met the French president and asked him about the secrecy of the Rafale deal. It only shows the hollowness of his knowledge that he does not know that the secrecy pact was done in 2008 by his own government under then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh," Goyal claimed.
According to Goyal, other "lies" included the Congress' claims that the deal had an angle of one Indian company financing a film of the then French president's associate, and the entire "falsehood" about the offset clause.
"The second lie was their attempt to twist the Supreme Court judgement. The Supreme Court has refused to discuss the price and technical details of Rafale, which are sensitive and highly confidential, in the interest of our national security," Goyal said.
"Another lie that the ex-French president called our prime minister a thief is the worst diplomatic gaffe that a senior political leader could do. It is shameful, that in their desperation, they are involving world leaders and threatening India's ties with a friendly country," Goyal contended.
Repeating Dassault's claims, Goyal said that the French company accepted that they finalised a company with whom they were in touch since 2012 of their own volition and choice.
Goyal also sought to distance the central government from controversy over Reliance Defence, claiming that the government did not have any official communication as to which company was entrusted with what role under the offset obligation.
The offset obligations are part of the Rafale deal, under which India will purchase 36 Rafale fighter aircraft and in return, Dassault is obligated to bring business to Indian companies relating to but not limited to the service and maintenance of the aircraft. Dassault has said that besides Reliance Defence, it is also in touch with nearly 100 other Indian firms which are its offset partners.
The railway minister further said that the Congress is possibly trying to hide its own misdemeanours with respect to compromising national security. He claimed that the UPA government had cancelled the much-needed Rafale deal because the makers did not agree to give business to "Congress' first family's close associate Mr Sanjay Bhandari."
Goyal also sought to portray the current terms of the deal "100 times better" than the previous government. He further claimed that the random price brackets being quoted by Rahul Gandhi are akin to comparing a "seed with an entire orchard of apples."
"The current government negotiated terms which are far better than what was agreed by the UPA in 2007 and 2012. We have gotten faster delivery, longer maintenance tenure, better availability of spare parts and much needed defence capabilities in the Rafale fighter jets, which will come ready to fly," Goyal said.
"(Rahul) is comparing the price of a basic aircraft with a fully loaded, latest fighter aircraft," he added.
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Updated Date: Oct 12, 2018 16:09:43 IST