New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Anurag Thakur on Monday moved a privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi over the Rafale deal and demanded an apology from the Congress chief for misleading the House in a speech he delivered in the Lok Sabha on July 20 during the no-confidence motion against the government.
In his notice, Thakur called Gandhi’s price comparison of the aircraft with that during the UPA regime's “a figment of imagination, incorrect and utter falsehood” and said: “For reasons of national security, the Government of India has not given out the exact details but has already indicated that the price of the basic aircraft being purchased now as per the 2016 agreement is 9% cheaper and the price of the weaponised aircraft is 20% cheaper compared to the price being negotiated by the UPA.
“A comparative chart of these prices was submitted by the Government of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in sealed cover. After perusing the prices as claimed by the Government, the Hon’ble Court noted the submission of the Government that there is a commercial advantage in the prices negotiated in the 2016 deal by NDA Government. The court dismissed the challenge on basis of higher price offer as per the 2007 offer.”
Thakur added, “Not only are his figures factually false, they fail to take into consideration the impact of the escalation clause contained in the 2007 offer. Further, he falsely attempts to compare an ordinary aircraft — a flying instrument with a weaponised aircraft. Obviously, the cost of the weaponry will be much higher.”
The BJP leader said the “falsehood” was knowingly uttered by Gandhi as he knows from both the former Prime Minister and former defence minister that his figures are factually incorrect.
The government has been facing Opposition fire over the Rafale deal, which escalated after the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to the Centre. The Congress on Monday gave notices of breach of privilege in both Houses of Parliament, demanding an explanation from the government on why it provided the Supreme Court "wrong" information on the deal.
While Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad sent the notice to the chairman of the Upper House, Congress' leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge gave the notice in the Lower House.