Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for not answering specific questions related to Rafale deal during her almost 2-hour long speech in the Lok Sabha.
Earlier, Sitharaman criticised Gandhi and the Congress party for asking the BJP about the pricing details of the deal. She also informed the Lok Sabha that the first aircraft will be delivered in September 2019 and 36 aircraft will be delivered in the year 2022.
Here are the LIVE updates of the proceedings:
4:05 Pm: Who was the one to decide on Anil Ambani?
Rahul Gandhi after #Rafale debate in LS: Many questions were raised. No questions were answered. She (Def Min) didn’t take Anil Ambani’s name for 2 hrs.I asked if objection was raised by Air Force when PM did bypass surgery? Instead of answering this question,she started a drama pic.twitter.com/di1QGlI0qf— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2019
4:00 pm: During your (Sitharaman's) 2-hour long speech, you didn't answer who removed HAL and brought Anil Ambani's name
3:55 pm: There was a meeting with former president of France and price of Rafale was discussed.
3:54 pm: After Sitharaman, Congress president Rahul Gandhi starts speaking in Lok Sabha.
3:34 pm: The Supreme Court’s Rafale judgment states, "After hearing matter in detail, we find no reason for intervention on the issue of the purchase 36 aircraft. Perception of individuals cannot be basis of an inquiry, says Sitharaman.
3:22pm: This issue has captured attention because of the misinformation of the Congress, says Sitharaman.
3:13 pm: A Congress spokesperson had said that the Congress will not discuss India's defence deals with a foreign head of state, this discussion the Govt has to do with France and not us. But on July 20, Rahul Gandhi in Parliament said, "I asked the French Pres about this secrecy pact but he denied its existence. He also told me that he has no issues in making the cost public." Who is truthful? One of them is misleading the country. I want proof of this,” says Sitharaman.
3:03 pm: The Congress chief seeks to respond after Defence Minister names him. But Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan says he will have to wait till Sitharaman yields.
2:59 pm: “Emergency purchases are always two squadrons. In 1982, when Pak was buying F-16s, Indian government then decided to buy 2 squadrons of MIG-23 MF from erstwhile Soviet Union, in 1985 again 2 squadrons of Mirage 2000 bought from France and in 1987- 2 squadrons of MIG-29,” Sitharaman informs Lok Sabha during the Rafale debate.
2:58 pm: “You say one thing in Parliament, your leader say something outside,” Sitharaman says.
2:54 pm: “This entire campaign is based on totally false allegations,” says Sitharaman.
2:49 pm: You are misleading the country by saying that the government is purchasing lesser number of aircraft, says Sitharaman.
2:47 pm: “When Rahul Gandhi held a meeting near HAL Bengaluru, he said, "Rafale is your right. You should have produced it." I want to say to Kharge ji, who is member of Standing Committee that looked into various issues related to defence production, in a report stated, ‘Standing Committee is disappointed to know that even after three decades HAL hasn't been able to develop the required aircraft,’” Sitharaman says.
2:38 pm: “For every 'AA' there is a 'Q' and 'RV',” says Sitharaman.
2:37 pm: “I charge and allege they did not even intend buying aircraft. They kept the motions going. Their treasury's security was important,” says Sitharaman.
2:35 pm: ‘Don’t shed crocodile tears for HAL,’ Sitharaman says.
2:32 pm: “You (Congress) are not even hearing because you are scared of facts,” Sitharaman says.
2:28 pm: “There is a difference between defence dealings and dealing in defence. We don't do defence dealings. We deal in defence with national security as a priority,” says Sitharaman.
2:23 pm: “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,” Sitharaman says.
2:22 pm: The then RM (Raksha Mantri) said outside Parliament, “We can’t buy (the aircraft), where is the money,” Sitharaman says.
2:20 pm: “China and Pakistan are building a bigger fleet. The UPA government wanted only 18 flyaway fighter jets. The UPA created a deadlock,” Sitharaman says.
2:17 pm: “We have had wars in northern and western frontiers. Timely purchase equipment should be the priority. We have to recognise the sense of urgency,” says Sitharaman.
2:14 pm: “Senior members of the Opposition don't want to hear my answers. It is very disheartening. This country needs to know that defence purchases are national security related and very important, whether they are in power or we are,” says Sitharaman.
#RafaleDeal | You are misleading the country by saying that the government is purchasing lesser number of aircraft, says @nsitharaman in Lok Sabha— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) January 4, 2019
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