Nirmala Sitharaman on the Rafale row: Congress has been beating around the bush showing their ‘desperation’

Amid ongoing row over Rafale deal, the Congress party on Thursday said that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claimed that HAL was not competent enough to produce aircraft. Referring to Nirmala Sitharaman’s interview to Times Now, Congress said that the Defence Minister added fuel to the fire by saying that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was not competent enough to produce aircraft.

Congress took to Twitter, trying to berate the government, and clearly, in its attempt to do so, it so seemed that the parties frustration over the Rafale deal has reached its optimal.

Nirmala Sithraman, while speaking to Times Now, being her candid self, refuted the continuous allegations by once again stressing that “The desperation of the Opposition is clear. Congress is displaying irresponsibility. The deals can be made without middlemen. There is no basis to Congress’ claims that the prices of the Rafale are higher than at the time of UPA government,” she said.

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On being questioned as to why the government did not prefer HAL, she claimed that (watch from the 29:00-minute mark), HAL’s production has scaled up under NDA and further went on to counter-question the Congress by saying that if the “Congress had so much love for HAL, why didn’t they sit with the French (company) and talk it out to see what is deficient about the HAL’s offer and what can be done to improve it and how HAL indeed get’s it”.

The Defence Minister furthered that the government was quite actively engaged with HAL, and sneeringly blamed Rahul Gandhi for triggering misunderstandings, “for the love of HAL… UPA, Shri Rahul Gandhi doesn’t just help talking,” the Defence Minister said.

Last week, Rahul Gandhi had dared the prime minister to a debate on the Rafale deal and claimed that he will not be able to answer his questions on the issue “even for a second”. Before that, Gandhi has also termed Rafale a ‘corruption of century’.

Rahul Gandhi and his grand old party have been relentlessly demanding that the government share details of the Rafale fighter aircraft price as it accused the Modi government, (though innumerable times been proved wrong) of buying them at thrice the price negotiated by the UPA government for 126 aircraft.


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