Arun Jaitley

Rafale Row: Jaitley Throws ‘Clown Prince’ Barb at Rahul Gandhi, Cong Hits Back With ‘Court Jester’ Jibe



New Delhi: The war of words between the Congress and the BJP over the ongoing Rafale controversy witnessed a fresh round of mudslinging from both the sides on Tuesday with the opposition dismissing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s “clown prince out-clowning himself” barb at Rahul Gandhi as “hollow rants of a court jester” and dubbing him as a “babble blagger”.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala attacked Jaitley accusing him of “banging” the economy by his “incomprehension”. Taking to Twitter, he said the country needed a finance minister and not a “babble-blogger”.

“Hollow rants of a ‘Court Jester’ – ‘Mr Jait-Lie’ won’t change the truth that- You bang the truth to hide ineptitude, You bang the Rupee by your mismanagement, You bang exports by your incompetence, You bang the Economy by your incomprehension.

“India needs a FM, Not a ‘Babble Blogger’,” he tweeted.

The fresh salvo from the Congress came after Jaitley, in his Facebook blog, accused its president Rahul Gandhi of “concocting” falsehood and wondered if he has a personality issue where “he lies a dozen times and then in self-delusion believes it to be true or is it a case of a ‘Clown Prince’ out-clowning himself?”

Asked about Jaitley’s allegations, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said it was unfortunate that the finance minister had time only to write blogs while the country’s economy was in “bad shape”.

He said the time will come when the country will render this government out of power for its ministers to have all the time to write blogs. He also said the government’s functioning was “funny”, where the finance minister talks about defence matters, the Railway minister about finance and the Law minister about other matters.

“There is absolute chaotic and absurd state of affairs in this government,” Tewari alleged, adding that “these people do not know how to govern.”

“Therefore, the time has come for people to show the door to these people for them to write only blogs,” he said.

Jaitley, in a Facebook post, said, “How does he (Gandhi) concoct this falsehood? At the Hindustan Times Summit, he referred to a meeting he had with me and attributed same statements to me. When asked I merely said that ‘I can’t answer hallucinations’.

“‘I am in the distinguished company of President Macron. Today I feel it is much more than hallucinations. Is it a personality issue where he lies a dozen times and then in self-delusion believes it to be true or is it a case of a ‘Clown Prince’ out-clowning himself?”

On allegations made by the Congress party president on Rafale, Jaitley said the aircraft and its weaponry are not being manufactured in India at all, neither by Dassault Aviation or by any other private company.

All 36 aircraft and their weapons in a fully flyable and usable form will arrive in India, he said.

After the supplies begin, Dassault has to make purchases in India for 50 per cent of the contract value, he said.

The Congress has been attacking the government over the Rafale deal and has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in corruption and favouritism. The allegations have been denied by the government.

(With PTI inputs)

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