Congress President Rahul Gandhi has ridiculed Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s remarks that her government will not disclose the details of the Rafale deal.
By Rakesh Raman
Under persistent attack from the Congress party about the controversial Rafale aircraft deal signed by the current Indian government led by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, the government issued a statement Wednesday in its defense.
“Unfounded allegations are being made regarding the 2016 Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) to procure 36 Rafale aircraft in fly-away condition from France,” an official statement said.
“This would normally not have merited a response but for the serious damage being caused by the misleading statements, sought to be repeatedly perpetrated on a serious matter of national security.”
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has alleged that PM Modi is personally involved in the deal in which kickbacks worth thousands of crores of rupees have been paid.
Press Statement by Congress President Rahul Gandhi on PM Modi’s speech in Parliament. pic.twitter.com/RhbVNLOt9B
— Congress (@INCIndia) February 7, 2018
He adds that Modi ignored the Defence Minister and other statutory procedures and went to France to buy Rafale aircraft at an exorbitant price.
In his interaction with the media, the Congress president exhorted the media people to expose the rampant corruption in Modi government. He said although the despotic Modi regime is attacking press freedom, the journalists should show some courage to challenge the corrupt government.
Rahul Gandhi also ridiculed Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s remarks that her government will not disclose the details of the Rafale deal.
— Congress (@INCIndia) February 7, 2018
“The demand that the Government disclose the details and value of the contract for the Rafale aircraft contracted in 2016 is unrealistic,” the Modi government said in its statement.
The statement added that the approximate acquisition cost of the Rafale aircraft has already been provided to the Parliament.
“Provision of exact item-wise cost and other information will reveal, inter alia, details regarding the various customizations and weapons systems specially designed to augment the effectiveness and lethality of the assets, impact our military preparedness and compromise our national security,” the statement said.
बहुत लम्बी थी साहेब की बात
सदन में दिन को बता दिया रात
अपनी नाकामियों पर डाले पर्दे
अफसोस भाषण से गायब थे देश के मुद्दे
प्रधानमंत्रीजी चुप्पी कब तोड़ेंगे
राफेल डील पर आखिर कब बोलेंगे?#PradhanMantriJawabDo
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 7, 2018
According to the government, such details would also come under the ambit of the security agreement signed in 2008. Thus, the government said, “in not revealing the item-wise details of the contract, the Government is merely following in letter and spirit the confidentiality provisions of a bilateral India-France Agreement of 2008 signed by the previous Government.”
As the government is trying to hide the details of the deal behind the veil of national security, Congress is asking Modi how much he decided to pay for each aircraft. The opposition party has also questioned Modi that why he had ignored a public sector company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to favour a private entity that has no defence production experience. It is believed that the private company is close to Modi and helped him win 2014 Lok Sabha election.
The Modi government could not give a satisfactory reply to all the troubling questions in the Rafale deal which is being seen as the biggest scam in the history of corruption in India.
Photo courtesy: Press Information Bureau
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