Декабря 13, 2017


Cong's claims shameful, disservice to armed forces: Sitharaman on Rafale deal

20 Ноября 2017, 12:22 | Bernice Figueroa

Rahul Gandhi's retort comes a day after Sitharaman alleged that it was shameful on part of the Congress to raise objections on the deal. File

Rahul Gandhi

"Dear RM (Raksha Mantri), what's shameful is your boss silencing you", he tweeted, asking her to otherwise answer three questions she skipped in an official Press conference here on Friday.

The Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman rubbished the Congress allegations about the Rafale purchase contract and insisted that it is an Inter governmental deal between India and France where due diligence and proper procedure was followed before it was signed in September a year ago.

The Congress and the BJP have exchanged barbs over the multi-crore Rafale fighter aircraft deal. Accusing the Congress of "muddling up" the Rafale fighter planes issue, she said that party raised questions over the deal, hoping to look for non-existent corruption.

The Congress had alleged the government caused "insurmountable loss" of taxpayers' money by signing the deal worth Rs 58,000 crores and claimed that the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence Limited that demanded the Congress had been unfairly picked to be the French firm's Indian partner. It was not financially prudent to negotiate ToT for just 36 fighters, she said. "Why PM bypassed experienced HAL and gave the deal to AA rated businessman with no defence experience?" "The price we arrived at is lesser", she said.

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He asked her whether PM Modi had taken permission from the Cabinet Committee on Security before announcing the purchase of the Rafale fighter aircraft in Paris.

She also asked the Minister to take concrete steps on the subject ahead of the State government's proposal to conduct the Global Investors Meet scheduled in September 2018.

"Through the entire decade 2004-2014, the UPA government was unable to come to a decision to strengthen our defence preparedness".

Rahul Gandhi's comments come a day after Sitharaman said that the Congress" allegations on the procurement deal are "shameful" and a "disservice' to the armed forces.

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