Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who sought to blunt Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s offensive during a debate on the Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha, said the opposition party was relying on “untruths”.

Jaitley, in his counter attack on Rahul Gandhi, refuted the claims of pricing and due process not being followed in signing the Rafale deal and launched a stinging attack on the Gandhi family. He also quoted from Hollywood’s iconic character, James Bond, to send his message across.

Jaitley refuted allegations that the government did not follow the laid-down process in finalising the Rafale deal. He said Rahul Gandhi is wrong in saying that the process was not followed. Jaitley asserted that that the cabinet committee on security (CCS) gave its approval before the deal was signed between India and France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

The finance minister then returned the fire, raking up the Bofors, AgustaWestland and National Herald cases. “If there was one case”, he said, “I may have given that family [the Nehru-Gandhi family] the benefit of doubt”.

“Three is a bit too much.”

“But if in Bofors the finger points to you, if in National Herald the finger points to you, if in Agusta the finger points to you, then three is a bit too much.”

Then Jaitley whipped out the Bond reference. One MP tapped his bench in delight.

“I am sure Shri Rahul Gandhi, in his earlier days, was seeing the James Bond films,” Jaitley said. “James Bond has said: If it is once, it’s happenstance, it can happen. If it is twice, it is a coincidence. And if it is thrice, it’s a conspiracy — and the conspirators of various defence deals today have the audacity to raise an allegation against others.”

The quote Arun Jaitley used is from Goldfinger, a 1959 novel by Ian Fleming and a 1964 movie starring Sean Connery as Bond. It’s not Bond who utters these words, but the villain, Auric Goldfinger. Plus, the quote isn’t exactly the same.

“If it happens thrice then it is enemy action and not conspiracy.”

– Saugata Roy

Here is the original quote:

“Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: ‘Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time its enemy action. Miami, Sandwich and now Geneva. I propose to wring the truth out of you.”

A Trinamool Congress MP pointed out that Jaitley had misquoted the line.

“Jaitley ji your memory is failing you. If it happens thrice then it is enemy action and not a conspiracy,” Saugata Roy said.

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