July 21, 2018
New Delhi: Union Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that Congress President Rahul Gandhi made the no-trust motion an occasion for frivolity by fabricating a conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron that never happened.
“Rahul Gandhi, concocted a conversation with President Macron, and lowered his own credibility. He seriously hurt the image of an Indian politician before the world at large,” Jaitley said a day after the government won the no confidence motion.
On Friday, Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha that Macron had told him that there was no secrecy pact with India on the Rafale jet deal, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had lied to the nation about it.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, France, denied the remarks in a statement.
“One should never misquote a conversation with a Head of Government or a Head of State. You do it once, serious people will be reluctant to speak to you or speak in your presence,” Jaitley said in his Facebook post.
Jaitley said the participants in the debate should raise the level of political discourse, particularly the “President of a national party who has Prime Ministerial aspirations. He should never trivialise the debate by blending ignorance, falsehood and acrobatics”.
“A vote of no confidence against the government is a serious business. It is not an occasion for frivolity,” he said.
Jaitley said it was unacceptable that Gandhi was not aware of the fact that the Congress-led UPA government had signed the secrecy pact.
He said Gandhi has even embarrassed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by naming him a witness to the conversation.
“Rahul has repeatedly shown that he is ignorant of facts. But to insist on disclosure of financial details, which indirectly involves the disclosures of strategic equipment on the aircraft, hurts national interest. Cost gives away a clue to the weaponry in the aircraft,” he added.
The Minister said Gandhi also seemed unaware of public issues when he equates declaration of accounts as NPA…, reminded Jaitley.
“There is no minister who either desires to change or is constitutionally entitled to change the Constitution of India. The last Indian politician who wanted the power to change the Constitution was Rahul’s grandmother and she too failed,” he stated.
“To hallucinate after an embarrassing performance that he has won future election or to hallucinate that he is the reincarnation of Mark Antony being complemented by friends and foes alike, may give him self-satisfaction but for serious observers it is more than just self-praise – in fact a serious problem,” Jaitley said.
“Regrettably, the President of the Congress party missed a great opportunity. If this was his best argument for 2019, God help his party. His lack of understanding is not only confined to basic issues but also to the niceties of protocol,” he said.