Rahul Gandhi Questions Rafale Deal Again, Hits Back at Nirmala Sitharaman

Rahul Gandhi Questions Rafale Deal Again, Hits Back at Nirmala Sitharaman

Rahul Gandhi Questions Rafale Deal Again, Hits Back at Nirmala Sitharaman

After the deal under which 36 Rafale jets are being bought off-the-shelf, there has been talk of purchasing 36 more of the fighters, which might cost lesser under a "follow-on" deal.

She stressed that the Modi government realised the dire situation and ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly away condition as it was an emergency and the Air Force urgently required the fighter jets.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has dismissed Congress' allegations on the procurement deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets as shameful, saying the process was completely transparent and the final agreement on the 36 jets was signed after approval of Cabinet Committee on Security. Is it correct that the per aircraft pricing of Rafale as per UPA negotiation comes to Rs. 526.1 crore as against Modi government's per aircraft negotiated asked Rs. 1,570.8 crore as per current exchange rate?

The defence minister said she has asked CII officials to hold discussions with the state government and chart out a plan. "Why PM bypassed experienced HAL & gave the deal to AA rated businessman with no defence experience?"

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Although government sources have previously argued that the two prices can not be compared because of different add-ons, weapon suites, training, maintenance and infrastructure requirements in the two agreements, Sitharaman said that "we have obtained a far better deal per aircraft (than the UPA)".

"Why is the Modi government and Defence Minister hiding the purchase price? The government has negotiated a very good deal".

Congress had earlier accused the government of compromising national interest and security while promoting "crony capitalism" and causing a loss to the public exchequer.

The decision to strengthen the Air Force was taken by the Vajpayee government in 2000 but the Congress-led coalition, which came in 2004 could not seal the pact over the next decade. "What about the loot?", he tweeted tagging a report on the Rafale deal.

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