Mixing his sharp attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi with a strong dose of satire, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday accused the former of living in "self-delusion" and being bereft of facts concocting repeat falsehood on several issues including the Rafale deal, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Non Performing Assets (NPA).
Writing in his blog title "Is the Clown Prince out-clowning himself', Jaitley dismissed Rahul's claim that he(the Finance Minister) met absconding jeweler and bank defaulter Nirav Modi in Parliament and helped him escape the country.
"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 reception records would show that. Where have I admitted all this Mr.Gandhi," Jaitley asked.
On Rahul's claim that he also met another business tycoon Vijay Mallya in Parliament, the Finance Minister repeated his earlier assertion that he was chased by Mallya in the corridor of Parliament.
"If the factual narrative does not suit him (Gandhi) then concoct an alternative. Repeat the false narrative a dozen times and convince yourself that falsehood is in fact is the truth. Thereafter, you can comfortably live in self-delusion", Jaitley wrote in his Facebook post.
"Many young lawyers practising criminal law used to get an advice early in their career from veterans in the field. They were told "if you are strong on facts, bang the facts. If you are strong on law, bang the law. If you are weak on both, then bang the desk." Those who advise Rahul Gandhi appear to have persuaded him that he is cut out only for the third option."
Jaitley gave a pointed rebuttal to the allegations and charges levelled by the Congress regarding the contract for the French fighter jets as also the allegations that the Modi Government favoured a private defence firm, Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence, to get the offset contract with Dassault Aviation , at the cost of State-run defence firm Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Congress had alleged that Reliance Defence "got an advantage ranging from Rs 38,000 Crore to Rs 1,30,000 Crore," Jaitley noted in his blog post and went on to explain the "truth".
The finance minister said in his blog post, "Rafale aircraft and its weaponry is not being manufactured in India at all, neither by Dassault or by any other private company. All 36 aircrafts and their weapons in a fully flyable and usable form will arrive in India. After the supplies begin Dassault has to make purchases in India for 50% of the contract value. This is as per the UPA's policy to promote make in India."
"If the total deal is for Rs 58,000 Crore, 50 per cent of that amounts to Rs 29,000 Crore. These supplies to Dassault are to be made by over 120 offset suppliers and which 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."
On the issue of "loan waiver" and non-performing assets (NPA) in banks, Jaitley countered Rahul's claims that PM Modi had helped "15 of his friends" get a loan waiver. "Loans were given during the UPA period. Not a single Rupee has been waived," he said.