After Rafale typo, Government bungles on James Bond

FPJ News Service

New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday delved into James Bond movie Goldfinger to attack Rahul Gandhi during a House discussion on Rafale deal. However, he bungled and ended up misquoting — a curious throwback to the Rafale grammatical bloomers in the submission made by Centre to the Supreme Court.

I am sure Shri Rahul Gandhi, in his earlier days, has seen James Bond films,” Jaitley said in the Lok Sabha. “James Bond said: If it is once, it’s a 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 loaded reference was to the National Herald and the Bofors cases in which the Congress is allegedly involved – the inference being that the pot was calling the kettle black. But it was not Gandhi but TMC member Saugata Roy who corrected Jaitley by pointing out that the Minister had misquoted the dialogue from the Bond movie.

The quote Jaitley cited 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. 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.”

The TMC MP harped on the misquoted line. “Jaitley ji, your memory is failing you. If it happens thrice then it is enemy action and not conspiracy,” Roy said. The TMC member also latched on to Jaitley’s pronunciation of President Francois Hollande’s name. He also said that the NDA government had to borrow a member from the Rajya Sabha, who is not even a Defence Minister, to speak on the Rafale deal.

(Jaitley is a Rajya Sabha member.) The references to Bond apart, Jaitley was scathing in his remarks. “This man (Gandhi) lies repeatedly… There are some people who have a natural dislike for truth. This is a case where there is a dislike for truth,” he said.

It is a tragedy for the country that the Grand Old Party is headed today by a gentleman who doesn’t have the understanding of what a combat aircraft is,” said the minister in a no-holds-barred attack. Referring to the Supreme Court’s judgment last month that came as a validation of the government’s decision on the deal, he said if the top court is satisfied, why should a joint parliamentary committee, which is divided on party lines, review it.

Referring to Gandhi’s “AA” digs, Jaitley said: “If we are into abbreviations, can I ask, was he playing in the lap of one Q, about who in the Bofors case, the CEO had in his diary written – Q must be protected at all accounts.”