The BJP has tweeted a series of counter-attacks over Rahul Gandhi’s pointed jibes on the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal, accusing the Congress president of “peddling lies” one after the other.
While the BJP and the Congress traded political barbs over Rafale, with the latter charging against the ruling party at the Centre armed with a newspaper report that purportedly published the abridged version of a defence ministry note from 2015 that alleged that the PMO was leading parallel negotiations with the French party, the saffron party hit exposing Rahul Gandhi’s “Rafale lies” in a series of 10 tweets.
Also, defence expert Abhijit Iyer Mitra, in a series of tweets, took the wind out of the Congress sails on the Rafale controversy.
On the issue of sovereign guarantees that has been raised by Gandhi, Mitra said “sovereign guarantees cost money, they don't come for free. The French were objecting to giving sovereign guarantees on the basis of a precedent: that giving a sovereign guarantees on one would mean giving sovereign guarantees on a whole host of other purchases, especially nuclear where extraneous circumstances may hold France in violation of NPT obligations,” he said on Twitter.
1n You people are hell bent on destroying my glorious afternoon with this beautiful bottle of italian wine because of #Rafale. Guess what I'd prefer 👉🏽 or 👈🏽 . So on the subject of sovereign guarantees. 1) sovereign guarantees cost money, they don't come for free 2) the French.. pic.twitter.com/0z5WL05o16— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) February 9, 2019
2n were objecting to giving sovereign guarantees on the basis of 2a Precedent: that giving a sovereign guarantees on one would mean giving sovereign guarantees on a whole host of other purchases, especially nuclear (and aspect of this deal I've stressed repeatedly) where ..— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) February 9, 2019
3n extraneous circumstances may hold France in violation of NPT obligations 2b EU, OECD & International anti trust laws means that a sovereign guarantee of 7 billion euros plus would be 80% of the market capitalisation of Dassault which is valued at 10 billion. This means...— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) February 9, 2019
4n 3) France would have to change national legislation and run up against a host of international legislation, mostly because the military and civil aviation businesses of Dassault are intertwined. The problem with this that if India asks for an India Specific exception......— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) February 9, 2019
“EU, OECD & International anti trust laws means that a sovereign guarantee of 7 billion euros plus would be 80% of the market capitalisation of Dassault which is valued at 10 billion,” he said, adding, “This means France would have to change national legislation and run up against a host of international legislation, mostly because the military and civil aviation businesses of Dassault are intertwined.”
“The problem with this that,” Mitra continued, “if India asks for an India Specific exception France would (and indeed I am informed they did) ask for an India Specific exemption to the Indian Nuclear Liability bill. This is why we need to understand that this was a maximalist negotiating position that we had to back down on, part of any negotiating process and the ramifications were interdepartmental - affecting trade, international treaty obligations for both countries & especially nuclear and NPT issues for both countries.”
“These issues fall OUTSIDE the purvey of the MoD,” he said.
Mitra attacked N Ram, saying, “The problem now is that N Ram, being clueless about everything outside cricket, despite his delusions to the contrary, has disclosed the fact that India was as part of negotiations willing to back down on sovereign guarantees. This was something the MoD had wanted to use as a precedent with the French to strong arm others on Nuclear issues (especially the US and other European countries that hold nuclear patents). Now thanks to N Ram our negotiating weakness vis-a-vis the French is in full public view and has consequences well beyond just #Rafale and defence.”
BJP’s first charge is that Congress chief Gandhi lied about there being a trade-off between Dassault and the Modi government in awarding the offsets to Reliance.
Lie No.1: #LiarRahul tried to twist some report in a French media house to say making Reliance an offsets partner was a tradeoff for Dassault to get the deal with India.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
Fact: Both Supreme Court & Dassault CEO said Indian govt had nothing to do with choosing of offsets partners. pic.twitter.com/C4vlTEFUAT
The second tweet pertains to Gandhi’s allegations that the Supreme Court found irregularities in the procedure of procurement. BJP alleged that Gandhi “Indulged in third grade level propaganda on a sub judice matter.”
Lie No.2: #LiarRahul tried to create false impression that SC has found grave irregularities with the deal. Indulged in third grade level propaganda on a sub judice matter.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
Fact: The Supreme Court dismissed the petitions filed by Congress proxies and held govt has done no wrong. pic.twitter.com/o70qaoyGEP
The BJP produced yet another evidence of false propaganda in its third tweet. While Gandhi alleged that an official was punished for dissenting on Rafale procurement, the officer in question had come on record later to deny that.
Lie No.3: #LiarRahul claimed that a senior officer at MoD was ‘punished’ by Modi govt for submitting a dissent note on Rafale deal.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
Fact: #LiarRahul’s lies were shattered when the officer in question spoke to media and denied any kind of ‘punishment’. https://t.co/6yJjuSr0tE
The fourth tweet was over Gandhi’s assertion that former French President Francois Hollande had called PM Modi a thief. Hollande had later rubbished it.
Lie No.4: #LiarRahul said ex-French President Hollande called PM Modi a thief and that Indian government had asked to include Reliance as offset partner.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
Fact: Hollande denied all such allegations. The French government issued an official statement. https://t.co/Hq80DjUNHH pic.twitter.com/lUJlJEROu2
In yet another tweet, the BJP attacked Gandhi for having claimed that he had met French President Macron, who allegedly told him that there was no non-disclosure agreement, The French head of state had rubbished the claims.
Lie No.5: #LiarRahul lied even to Parliament and said he personally confirmed from French President Mr. Macron that there is no non disclosure clause.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
Fact: French govt issued statement refuting liar's claim & said agreement prohibits parties from sharing classified information. pic.twitter.com/HJaKHcBCN4
In the sixth tweet, BJP chided Gandhi for having quoted different prices for Rafale at different occasions.
Lie No.6: #LiarRahul quotes multiple numbers at multiple places for supposed price of aircraft in UPA deal— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
• Parliament, he said 520 crore
• Karnataka, he said 526 crore
• Rajasthan, he said 540 crore
• Delhi, he said 700 crore
Analysis: He deserves Nobel for lying. pic.twitter.com/RoNpNjP0Db
In the next tweet, the BJP attacked Gandhi for having claimed without basis, and which was confirmed by the SC in its judgment, that acquisition norms had been circumvented in the case of Rafale by the Modi regime.
Lie No.7: #LiarRahul said that the processes and procedures laid down for military acquisitions were flouted by PM Modi’s government.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
Fact: Hon’ble SC in its judgment held: We are SATISFIED that there is no occasion to really doubt the process. pic.twitter.com/IESjpLaIfx
In the eighth tweet, the ruling party’s official twitter handle clarified the distinction between bare-bones aircraft and the one fitted with the complete operational package.
Lie No.8: #LiarRahul said UPA negotiated price of Rs. 526/520/540 (one place, one price) crore per aircraft, while NDA settled for Rs.1,600 cr.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
Analysis: Liar is comparing apples & oranges. Price negotiated by NDA is for a complete operational package; including Rafale aircraft.
Against allegations of crony capitalism and nepotism in the deal, the BJP cited SC order in which it said that acquisition was done for national preparedness against enemies.
Lie No.9: #LiarRahul said decision to procure 36 aircraft was made to benefit political “cronies” and has harmed Air Force.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
Fact: Hon SC held the decision was made in interest of defense preparedness in face of our adversaries’ ramping up their capabilities and IAF is happy. pic.twitter.com/jhBjLitRJr
In its last tweet, the party cited the cropped letter cited by a media house on which the latest Congress barrage of allegations is based, calling Congressmen ‘photoshoppers’ and the media house as a ‘partner in crime’.
Lie No.10: Yesterday, #LiarRahul found a partner in crime - The Hindu. Using a conveniently cropped photo, they tried to lie again.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 9, 2019
Fact: We always knew Congressis were photoshoppers. But yesterday they learnt, the hard way, that ‘Satyamev Jayate’ :) pic.twitter.com/ZxeR52e6Uf
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Last Updated Feb 9, 2019, 10:20 PM IST