Responding to Rahul Gandhi's relentless attacks on the Modi government over the Rafale fighter jet deal, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tore into the Congress president describing his arguments as 'kindergarten or primary school debate'.
In his first interview after rejoining the finance portfolio following a three-month break due to a surgery, Arun Jaitley told news agency ANI that allegations being levelled against the Modi government by the Congress were unsubstantiated.
Rafale deal: Congress accuses Modi govt of ignoring procedure, demands ‘public debate’ and ‘detailed enquiry’
"This (allegations on Rafale deal) is like a kindergarten or primary school debate, "Well, I was paying 500 something and you've paid 1600 something". That's the argument being given, it shows how little understanding (Rahul Gandhi) he has," Arun Jaitley said.
The finance minister said that Rahul Gandhi is himself not sure about what price of the jet to quote.
"Every fact that they (Congress) have said on pricing is factually false. Mr Rahul Gandhi himself has given 7 different prices in different speeches with regard to the 2007 Rafale offer," Jaitley said.
"Can you compare a basic aircraft’s pricing with a loaded aircraft? Can you compare a simple aircraft with a weaponised aircraft?... If in 2012 they had come to an agreement, the first would have been delivered in 2017. From 2007 to 2017 the escalations would have gone up, along with a foreign exchange variation. So there is India specific add-ons and the foreign exchange variants… Is the Congress party aware that if you take the 2007 L1 offer and the escalation clause without the add-ons, the price negotiated in 2015-16 is cheaper?" Jaitley said.
In a no holds barred attack on Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley also posed 15 questions to 'expose Congress party's falsehood' over Rafale deal.
Jaitley, in his Facebook post, claimed that the NDA's Rafale deal was actually 20 per cent cheaper that the UPA's.
"Can Shri Rahul Gandhi deny that when the add-ons such as India-specific adaptations, weaponry, etc. are installed on the basic aircraft, the UPA price, which was mentioned in the 2007 L1 offer, would be at least 20% costlier than the more favourable price negotiated by the NDA?" Jaitley said.
Congress Party’s false campaign launched on Rafale aircraft deal based on peddled untruth has been casting a cloud on the Inter-Governmental agreement & seriously compromising national security.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) August 29, 2018
Rahul Gandhi and his party have been consistently targeting the Modi government over the fighter jet deal with France claiming that there has been a scam in the procurement process.
Dubbing the Rafale deal "corruption of the century", Gandhi had said that PM Modi came to power on the claim that he would wipe out corruption in the country and provide a very clean government.
During the debate on the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha recently, Rahul Gandhi had accused the government of changing the deal to benefit 'one businessman'. Rahul apparent remark directed at Anil Ambani's Reliance Group saw the industrialist filing a Rs 5000-crore defamation case against the Congress-owned National Herald newspaper.
The suit filed against the newspaper alleged that the article titled 'Anil Ambani floated Reliance Defence 10 days before Modi announced Rafale deal' was libellous and defamatory, and it "misleads the general public to believe that undue business favours are being extended to them by the government of the day".
WATCH: Arun Jaitley launches 'Rafale attack' on Rahul Gandhi