BJP today launched a scathing attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on Rafale deal. Addressing a press conference Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Rahul Gandhi speaks a blatant lie inside the Parliament and keeps on repeating the same outside the Parliament. Speaking on Rafale deal, Prasad said the deal for the purchase of Rafale fighters was inter-government and not a company to government deal. Prasad said the BJP government obtained a cheaper deal for the fighters as compared to what was offered to the UPA.
“The price during NDA government is 9 percent lesser what was negotiated under UPA government,” Prasad said. Prasad stated that the Congress is questioning BJP on non-disclosure of the price of Rafale fighters but it should answer why it remained silent on multiple questions asked by parliamentarians during UPA’s tenure. According to India’s defence procurement rule, the price cannot be revealed as this is an established procedure, said Prasad. The minister also questioned former defence minister AK Antony’s silence on key issues.
“One MP asked Antony about the deployment of our helicopters outside India to which he said that revealing such information will hamper India’s relation with the foreign state. In April 2010, AK Antony told Parliament that the Henderson Brooks report could not be declassified because its contents “are not only extremely sensitive but are of current operational value,” Prasad said.
Earlier today, addressing a rally in Bidar, Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked PM Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on overpricing of Rafale fighter jet deal. Reliance Defence in a statement issued yesterday clarified that it got the contract from Dassault and not the defence ministry as claimed by Congress and Rahul Gandhi. It also stated that it had no role in the selection of the Indian partners by foreign vendors.