Mumbai: On a day when finance minister Arun Jaitley and Congress president Rahul Gandhi traded fresh charges on the Rafale deal, Anil Ambani, who has won the controversial contract from the French firm, on Wednesday said truth will prevail.
Terming the allegations as “baseless, ill-informed and unfortunate,” Ambani said, “truth alone will prevail” as the charges are driven by “malicious vested interests and corporate rivals.” Ambani was responding to a question from the media as to why he chose to exclude the Congress president in the Rs 5,000-crore defamation case filed by his company on the Rafale deal. “I have personally written to Gandhi stating that the Congress has been misinformed, misdirected and misled on the Rafale deal by malicious vested interest and corporate rivals,” he told reporters after announcing completion of the sale of RInfra’s power business in Mumbai to the Adani group for Rs 18,800-crore.
Parrying another question whether if need be would he file a defamation case against Gandhi as well in the case, he said “all the allegations are as baseless, ill-informed and unfortunate.” In a series of exchanges between, Jaitley and Gandhi accused each other with the former calling the latter as “peddling in untruth”, and the latter responding by terming it as “the great robbery”. It all started with Jaitley, in a Facebook blog, posting a set of 15 questions for Gandhi in response to Congress posers on the multi-billion dollar deal.
He said the 36 Rafale fighter jets which the BJP-led government is purchasing are 20 per cent cheaper than the ones the UPA government had received. Charging Congress with carrying out a “false campaign”, he sought Gandhi’s response on questions varying from delays in finalising the fighter jet order to procedural knowledge and foreign supplier being allowed freedom to choose private partner to meet offset requirement.
Gandhi responded by calling the deal “the great Rafale robbery” and alluded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi trying to protect his business friend. “Mr. Jaitley, thanks for bringing the nation’s attention back to the GREAT #RAFALE ROBBERY! How about a Joint Parliamentary Committee to sort it out? Problem is, your supreme leader is protecting his friend, so this may be inconvenient. Do check & revert in 24 hrs. We’re waiting!,” Gandhi tweeted.