Failed politics compelling Rahul to make Rafale deal controversial: Jaitley

File photo of Arun Jaitley. Photograph:( Reuters )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 13, 2018, 10.52 PM (IST)

Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday said the Congress President's failed politics is compelling him to resort to 'falsehood' and 'petty hair-splitting' to make the sensitive Rafale purchase defence deal controversial.

Jaitley also said that it was the Congress-led UPA which delayed the purchase of the Rafale aircraft which was necessary to improve the combat ability of Indian Air Force.

He was responding to allegations made by Gandhi that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has admitted to "theft" in the Rafale deal before the Supreme Court and to changes in the contract without asking the Air Force.

In a series of tweets, Jaitley said that 'falsehood' cannot be a substitute for "failed politics" of Gandhi.

"UPA delayed the Rafale purchase, much required for improving the combat ability of Indian Air force. Is Rahul Gandhi's failed politics compelling him to render India's sensitive defence requirements controversial?" Jaitley questioned.

The Centre on Monday disclosed to the Supreme Court the pricing details for the 36 Rafale jets that were negotiated on "better terms" and said it "completely followed" the Defence Procurement Procedure laid out in 2013 and secured the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approval before the deal that has whipped up a political storm was inked with France.

Jaitley, in a tweet, said, "Falsehood is not a substitute for Rahul Gandhi's failed politics. Realising that the Modi government bought the Rafale at a price cheaper than what UPA was negotiating the disrupters are now reporting to petty hair-splitting".

Earlier in the day, Gandhi in a tweet said "Modiji has admitted to his theft in the Supreme Court. In the affidavit, he admitted to changes in the contract without asking the Air Force and put Rs 30,000 crore in Ambani's pocket.