New Delhi, Sep 23: Senior BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday sought to suggest that there is a connection between Congress president Rahul Gandhi's tweet in August and a statement made by former French President Francois Hollande.
"It is no coincidence that on 30.8.2018 Rahul Gandhi had tweeted that “Globalised corruption. This Rafale aircraft really does fly far and fast! It's also going to drop some big bunker buster bombs in the next couple of weeks....The former French President’s first statement rhymes with Rahul Gandhi’s prediction," Mr Jaitley said in reference to September 21 (first statement) from Hollande, who said his government did not moot the name of Reliance Defence as 'partner'.
In a Facebook post, Mr Jaitley wrote: "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" - and argued that in this context - "For 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".
Hollande is in the midst of a high profile controversy in his own country for alleged links to his friend Julie Gayet and a film production - that has been financed by Reliance Entertainment of Anil Ambani.
The Finance Minister then refers to a subsequent statement made by Hollande to a French news agency and wrote: "The former French President’s first statement that the Indian business group’s name was proposed by Government of India has now been substituted by him to the effect that the suggestion he is ‘not aware’ of the Government of India ever lobbied for Reliance Defence. He further said that the ‘partners’ chose themselves".
In reference to contradictory statements from the former French President - Mr Jaitley argued eloquently that "truth cannot have two versions".
"A controversy is sought to be created on the basis of a statement made by the former French President Hollande, that the Reliance Defence ‘partnership’ with Dassault Aviation was entered at the suggestion of the Indian Government. In a subsequent statement, the former President has sought to suggest that Reliance Defence emerged on the scene after the agreement with the Indian Government was entered into. He has, in a subsequent statement, said that he is ‘not aware’ if Government ever lobbied for Reliance Defence and that ‘the partners chose themselves’."
He also dismissed Gandhi's allegation on Modi government compromising the interest of Indian soldiers.
"Rahul Gandhi has made an absurd suggestion that the interest of Indian soldiers has been compromised with. By whom? The UPA which delayed the acquisition which would have added to the Military’s combat ability or the NDA which expedited the same at a lower cost," he added. UNI