“As the Modi government stumbles and fumbles, hides and conceals, indulges in doublespeak, sacrifices national interest and refuses to answer on loss to public exchequer, India will continue to demand answers,” Congress Media Incharge Randeep Singh Surjewala said here.
Citing several instances of the previous UPA government when details of defence deal were made public, he asked the ruling BJP government to disclose the price of 36 aircraft’s. He also asked questions including the secrecy over the deal, the government’s silence on the issue and alleged that prior permission of the Cabinet Committee on Security was not taken.
According to Surjewala, Sitharaman did not intimate to disclose the price on grounds of a “secrecy agreement”, while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley refused to disclose citing “national security” reasons. “Isn’t a full disclosure of price of Rafale aircrafts in national interest? Why are two ministers of the government speaking in two different voices? Who are they trying to shield? Why is the price of aircrafts shrouded in secrecy and cover-up?” he asked.
Congress party also questioned the government’s move of superseding Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for a Rs 30,000 crore ‘offset contract’ in favour of a private company despite the fact that the state-run had already signed a ‘work share agreement’ in March, 2014 with Dassault Aviation. Arun Jaitley defended his government’s policy by stating that UPA too had not disclosed the purchase prices.
Dear Mr Jaitlie,
You said the UPA never released prices of Defence purchases?
To nail your lie, here are 3 Parliamentary replies by the UPA with full transparency on pricing.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 9, 2018
It seems that deadly Rafale fighters, may certainly become deadly for the NDA government in next elections if the Congress persists with the its allegations long enough. All it takes a weapons deal to become tainted in public memory is successful portrayal of circumstances as circumstantial evidence. After all the prime minister of India still quotes Bofors in election rallies while his Attorney Journal advises that there may not be any legal case to back up the allegation.