Your 'boss' silencing you is shameful: Rahul to Sitharaman over Rafale deal

Ivan Schwartz
November 19, 2017

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.

"This government is functioning without any sort of corruption", she said when asked why the Congress party was raising the issue now.

"Why has the price gone up then? It is lower than what was there in the MRMCA contract", he said without going into specifics.

"Why is the minister misleading the country?" "Tamil Nadu should look at futuristic segment and the Centre will be with you", she said.

The Congress has claimed the "per aircraft pricing" in the 126 MMRCA project, under which 108 of the jets were to be manufactured by defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics in India after transfer of technology (ToT), stood at Rs 526 crore.

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Speaking at an interactive session organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce And Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) here on Friday, she said whatever is manufactured by the industry will turn invalid in a year's time in the defence world.

Sitharaman said the talks for purchase of French Rafale fighter jets began in the year 2000 and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government did not take any concrete decisions after holding negotiations between 2004-2013.

He also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of bypassing procedure in finalising the purchase of 36 fighter jets with the French. "Why did the Prime Minister promote the interests of a private corporate entity over a public sector undertaking?" he asked.

"Is it not correct that HAL is the only Indian entity which has decades of experience of building aircrafts?" So what is the effect of the emergent purchase? She was flanked by the Defence Secretary and the Deputy Chief of the Indian Air Force on the podium, but only she answered the questions.

He also said that it was the Congress that initiated internal bidding process and if there was delay in it, the BJP should tell how many aircraft they bought in last 41 months.

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