Rafale deal: Govt says Congress charge shameful

20 November, 2017, 00:25 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Congress dismissive of Defence Minister's counter on Rafael deal

The issue of purchase of more Rafale fighter jets was raised when the Indian and French Defence Ministers met here last month, but India has not given any answer yet, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday. "The UPA government from 2004-2014 could not arrive on a decision to address this critical necessity of fighters for the IAF".

She said the UPA government had sat over the proposed procurement of jets for 10 years.

India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September last year for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs. 58,000 crore, almost one-and-half years after the Prime Minister announced the proposal during a visit to Paris.

Final price of each Rafale jet? She also claimed that no private party is involved in the acquisition of 36 Rafale aircrafts.

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)".

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Rahul questioning why the deal given to a businessman with "no experience" is a repeat of a question he tweeted also two days ago on Thursday: "Can you explain "Reliance" on someone with nil experience in aerospace for Rafale deal?"

India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September last year for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs. 58,000 crore, almost one-and-half years after the Prime Minister announced the proposal during a visit to Paris.

The deliveries of the aircraft will start from 2019 end, and will be ended in 2022.

The Defence Minister had said that the condition of Air Force was very grim in 2014 when the National Democratic Alliance led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected to power.

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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