Jaitley's attack against the Congress in the Lok Sabha during which he defended the government's decision against making the break-up of the almost Rs 58,000 crore deal public came even as Congress president Rahul Gandhi fired a fresh salvo at the government. However, there was no reply, Gandhi said.
He also cited the Revenue deficit to buttress the NDA government's performance to counter the Opposition's allegations of fiscal imprudence.
Denying any kind of underhand dealing in the purchase of 36 aircraft, Jaitley said the Congress-led UPA's new strategy is to manufacture corruption charges.
Defending the government's decision against making the break-up of the almost Rs 58,000 crore deal public, Jaitley said when UPA was in power, then defence ministers Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony had on 15 occasions told Parliament that giving out such details would be against the interest of national security. He said one of the questions then related to missiles being procured from Israel. The Congress is compromising national security by asking for details which should not be made public, by which I mean known to the enemy.
"If this is correct, why has the Modi government paid such an astronomically higher price for Rafale aircrafts", Surjewala asked.
Kolkata school teacher sexually abuses class 2 girl, detained after protests
Education minister Partha Chatterjee said the government will look into the matter if there were lapses on the part of the school. Angry parents staged a massive protest against the Carmel Primary School in Kolkata over the alleged.
Congress has alleged that there are irregularities in the deal for buying 36 Rafale fighter jets off-shelf from France, signed between the Indian and French governments.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he said, had first announced that she would inform the nation about the cost of purchasing Rafale aircraft but was now saying she could not do so as it was a state secret.
"Is it correct that according to global bids opened on December 12, 2012, the price per aircraft comes to $80.95 million (Rs 526.1 crore) as against the Modi government's per aircraft negotiated price of $241.66 million (Rs 1,570.8 crore) as per current exchange rates", Surjewala asked. "Now do ask our Raksha Mantri to tell India how much each RAFALE jet cost", Rahul said on Twitter. The Congress leader also questioned the government on why Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, a government PSU, was superseded for a Rs 30,000 crore "offset contract" in favour of a private company. However, there was no reply, Gandhi said. "In this government, because they could not find any corruption cases, they manufactured one", Jaitley said.
Answering posers put by Mr Chidambaram during his speech on the Budget yesterday, Mr Jaitley said when pre-Budget Economic Survey spoke of work remaining to be done on agriculture, employment and eduction sectors it did not mean the problem was created in last four years but implied unfinished task of 55 years of Congress rule.
The Congress also sidestepped Jaitley's argument that the Opposition was compromising national security by demanding details of the Rafale aircraft deal. "What we will call it?", he told reporters.