Jaitley takes `clown prince’ jibe at Rahul, counters him over Rafale offset

Jaitley takes `clown prince' jibe at Rahul, counters him over Rafale offset
Jaitley takes `clown prince’ jibe at Rahul, counters him over Rafale offset

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday again called Congress President Rahul Gandhi a “clown prince” and countered him over the Rafale fighter jet deal, saying that Dassault Aviation has said that only three per cent of offset may come to the business house being named by Congress leaders.

Jaitley also dismissed the charge that he had met absconding scamster Nirav Modi and targeted Gandhi for “building false narratives” on different issues.

Giving a point-by-point rebuttal to Gandhi’s charges against the Modi government, Jaitley wondered if the Congress chief telling “lies” was a “personality issue”.

“I do not recollect ever having even seen Nirav Modi in my life. The question of his meeting me in Parliament does not arise. If he came to Parliament, as Rahul Gandhi claims, then the reception records will show that. Where have I admitted all this Mr Gandhi?” asked Jaitley.

He also posted a video clip of Gandhi’s Monday addresses in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh where the Congress chief alleged that absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi had met Jaitley before fleeing the country.

The BJP leader also dismissed as “absolute lie” Gandhi’s assertions that Mallya had informed the Finance Minister of his plan to escape to London.

Countering the Congress charges relating to a private entity becoming an offset partner in the Rafale deal, Jaitley wrote: “The Rafale aircraft and its weaponry is not being manufactured in India at all, neither by Dassault nor by any private company. All 36 aircraft along with weaponry will arrive in India in a ready-to-fly condition,” he said.

The minister said that after the supplies begin, Dassault has to make purchases in India for 50 per cent of the contract value.

“These supplies to Dassault are to be made by over 120 offset suppliers and the business house named is one of them. Dassault has said that only 3 per cent of offset may come to that business house, which is less than Rs 1,000 crore,” Jaitley said in an apparent reference to Reliance Defence.

Dismissing Gandhi’s allegations that the Goods and Services Tax was flawed, Jaitley claimed the successful implementation of the new tax regime had enabled India become one market.

“If the factual narrative does not suit him, then concoct an alternative. Repeat the false narrative a dozen times and convince yourself that falsehood is in fact the truth. Thereafter, you can comfortably live in self-delusion.

“Today, I feel it is much more than hallucination. Is it a personality issue where he lies a dozen times and then in self-delusion believes it to be true or is it a case of a clown prince out-clowning himself,” said Jaitley, who in his earlier blog too had called Gandhi a “clown prince”.

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