Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday called a couple of his former NDA colleagues 'career nationalists' who would be speaking a different language if they were in the government.
"Our tragedy in the NDA has been, particularly in the BJP, we have had a fair share of career nationalists. They are nationalists and with us as long as it suits their career. And, therefore, when they speak a contrarian language, I don't attach much credibility to them," Jaitley told ANI in an interview.
In a press conference earlier this month, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie had attacked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government for Rafale offset contract.
"The inexplicable dropping from the project of the one national organisation that has decades of experience in building aircraft - the public sector organisation, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, commonly known as HAL - and the incomprehensible induction of a private company that has absolutely no experience in the field of aerospace manufacture, but does have a record of failing in large projects, and is mired deeply in debt," they had said.
Responding to allegations of his former peers, the finance minister said, "Rafale was a government to government arrangement and offset has nothing to do with this contract. The Government will purchase 36 fully-loaded aircraft coming all the way from France, manufactured in France, no private party involved. The Government of India's role ends."
When asked about Ambani-led Reliance Defence winning the offset contract, Jaitley said, "Under a policy devised by the UPA, every defence supplier (original equipment manufacturer or OEM) has to undertake some offsets... About 30 per cent of the total contract value, he has to in future start making purchases from India. Who will he make purchases from? He selects his own partners. Those purchases have nothing to do with Rafale or these aircraft. He could be buying guns, pistols, binoculars or some spare parts."
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