Jaitley attacks Yashwant Sinha, Shourie on Rafale deal ‘falsehood’

New Delhi: Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday dubbed as “falsehood” and “fabricated facts” former BJP Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie’s claims on the Rafale deal and said that “reprocessed lies were being made by forces desperate to prove their relevance”.

In a Facebook post, Jaitley said that it was reprehensible that a fresh attempt to tarnish the Modi government’s image had been made less than two weeks after the miserable failure of a similar effort in Parliament.

“I have seen another attempt today at maligning the government by spreading falsehood and peddling fabricated facts regarding the 2016 Inter-Governmental Agreement (with France) for Rafale fighter aircraft,” the Minister said.

“There is not a grain of truth in the wild allegations repeated today nor anything substantiating in the purported facts and voluminous documents marshalled to corroborate the baseless accusations. The unsubstantiated allegations against the government constitute nothing but reprocessed lies by forces increasingly desperate to prove their relevance,” he added.

Jaitley, a senior BJP leader, said that the government had already responded effectively to each and “every distortion and misinformation” on the issue.

He said that those raising alarm on alleged danger to national security ought to realise their responsibility and “refrain from politicising for narrow individual ends those very matters pertaining to national defence that were consistently ignored by them and by those with whom they sympathise”.

Sinha and Shourie earlier in the day alleged that the jet deal was “unilaterally” finalised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by violating mandatory procedures, and this “defence scandal was larger than any thus far”.

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who addressed the media along with the former NDA Ministers, said that the manner in which the order for Rafale jets was changed made for a “clear case of criminal misconduct”.

They sought a time-bound probe by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and asked the government to come clean on the issue.