Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday gave a point-by-point rebuttal on the allegations made by the Congress party in the Lok Sabha and clarified that Rafale deal is not a scam. Taking on the grand old party, Sitharaman said, "Bofors was a scam, Rafale is not. Rafale will bring PM Modi back to power." She also emphasised that NDA government-led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to complete its full term without corruption and this is why their is desperation to defame it.
She alleged that the Congress had stopped the deal when it was in power as it 'didn't get the money'. "You stopped the deal, forgetting Air Force was suffering. You didn't conclude the deal, because it didn't suit you. The deal didn't get you money."
"They did not intend to buy the aircraft till something else was done. There is something different between defence deal and deal in defence," she added. The Defence Minister also slammed Gandhi for shedding crocodile tears on the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) not getting the offset contract. "Congress is shedding crocodile tears now as it did nothing to scale up the capacity of the state-run firm in the past several years," she said.
Sitharaman also accused the Congress of misleading the country by saying ‘the NDA government had reduced the 126 jets to 36’. "You are misleading the country by saying the NDA government reduced 126 Rafale jets to 36. Congress was supposed to buy 18 in fly-away condition, the NDA raised that to 36," she said.
Defence Minister in Lok Sabha: The first aircraft will be delivered in September 2019 and 36 aircraft will be delivered in the year 2022. The process of negotiation was finished in 14 months. #Rafale pic.twitter.com/V0FsmB03yx— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2019
The delivery of first Rafale will be delivered in September 2019 and the last aircraft of 36 jets will be delivered in the year 2022. The process of negotiation was finished in 14 months, the Minister said.