New Delhi | Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday alleged the Congress Party for creating a controversy over the Rafale deal just to hide the Bofors scam which took place under Rajiv Gandhi’s Prime ministership.
Attacking the Congress for raising the issue of Indo-France Rafale deal, Jaitley in an exclusive interview to ANI said, “They are trying to manufacture a controversy when none exists…They are guilty of compromising national security. They are guilty of falsehood on every count. Whether 2016 price, both of the bare aircraft and loaded aircraft is cheaper than the 2007 price when taken in totality?”
He further added, “They are guilty of saying there’s a private party in this contract. An offset arrangement which Rafale or somebody else may have with 10 different parties has nothing to do with the Government of India. They’re guilty on that score, and in the process, putting the entire acquisition process which is vital for national security under a shadow.”
Claiming the Bofors scam to be a case where bank accounts were detected into which the Swedish companies deposited money in Switzerland. Jaitley said, “There was Mr. Quattrocchi’s bank accounts, there were people being paid. If you had the slightest ethical integrity, Bofors was a case where we detected the bank accounts into which the Swedish companies paid the money in Switzerland. We were able to identify the beneficial owners of those bank accounts, and one of the owners was somebody then close to the ruling party or the ruling family, Mr Quattrocchi.”
The Indo-France Rafale deal was initiated during the UPA-2 tenure in 2014, the Manmohan Singh government planned to buy 18 off-the-shelf jets from France, while 108 others where to be assembled in the country by the state-run plane-maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. However in 2015, the current Narendra Modi government changed the course of deal and announced that it will buy 36 ‘ready-to-fly’ Rafale jets instead of seeking a technology transfer from France’s Dassault Aviation and making the aircraft in India.