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