Hollande ‘Orchestrated’ Rafale Deal Controversy: Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley

Sep 23 : Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday alleged that former French President Francois Hollande had orchestrated his statement on Rafale deal with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Jaitley made this statement after  Hollande told a French media outlet that the Indian government proposed Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence to grab the offset contract for the deal to buy 36 Rafale warplanes from Dassault Aviation.

Pointing towards a tweet made by Gandhi on August 30 that said “some bombs are going to burst in Paris in the next couple of weeks”, Jaitley said that the entire controversy seems to have been orchestrated to target the Narendra Modi government.

Congress got the ammunition to attack PM Narendra Modi, with Gandhi calling him a “thief” and demanding his resignation.

“Truth cannot have two versions,” Arun Jaitley wrote in a blog that he posted on his official Facebook page this morning.

The finance minister sought to draw attention to a “conflict of interest” concerning Hollande. “…it may be mentioned that the former French President, Hollande, is countering statement made against him with regard to a conflict of interest in his dealing with the Reliance Defence.”

Arun Jaitley based his attack on a tweet that he claimed was posted by the Congress on August 31 that would place Hollande’s latest statement in a contradictory position. “The Congress Party’s official handle on 31.8.2018 had carried the tweet of one of its leader ‘It is evident that Anil Ambani bribed President Hollande through his actor-partner to get the Dassault partnership’,” Arun Jaitley wrote.

Jaitley, citing this tweet, questioned the credibility of the Congress’s allegation. “…the Congress party to allege that a former president had been bribed by an Indian business group, and then use him as a primary witness, particularly when he is facing criticism for an alleged conflict of interest within his own country.”

“It is very important for PM now to either accept Mr. Hollande’s statement or state that Mr. Hollande is lying. He must tell us what the truth is. It is a question of the dignity of the office of Prime Minister. It is the question of the future of our jawans and the Air Force,” Gandhi said on Saturday, adding that for the first time, “an ex-French President has called our PM a thief”.

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