New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah today targeted the Congress for its attack on the government over the Rafale fighter jet deal, saying disclosing its details in Parliament will harm national interest and that the UPA dispensation had also followed a similar practice.
At a BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, he told MPs that sharing all details of the deal such as expenditure incurred on its weaponry and the technological know-how will only alert India’s enemies and harm the country’s interests, according to some leaders present there.
Even the UPA government did not share details of defence deals finalised by it for similar reasons, he said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said Shah told party MPs that broader details of the transaction, including that it would cost over Rs 58,000 crore, have been shared but break-up of expenditure cannot be made public.
Shah also lauded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s reply on the matter in Lok Sabha yesterday. Jaitley had accused the Congress of “seriously compromising” national security by demanding disclosure of details of the deal. He had also asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to “learn” from former defence minister Pranab Mukherjee “lessons on national security”.
Shah, in his address, also dubbed Gandhi “undemocratic”, saying that mindset was behind the Congress disrupting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Hitting out at Gandhi, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he did not question the Congress president’s right to a reply. “But he cannot play with national security in such a manner,” Prasad said.
Referring to Jaitley’s speech, Prasad said the finance minister gave examples of many past defence ministers, most of them from UPA government, to stress that details regarding such deals cannot be disclosed.
“These critical, sensitive issues ought not to be disclosed because the countries hostile to India’s interest should not know about it. This confidentiality agreement was executed by the previous UPA government with Rafale,” he added.