Congress President Rahul Gandhi looked clueless at the Lok Sabha on Friday after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave a point-by-point rebuttal in the house countering the accusations of Congress on the issue of Rafale deal. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took a dig at the Congress saying that party should understand the difference between defence dealings and dealings in defence. She said that the NDA government deals in defence keeping national security as top priority.
Speaking at the Lok Sabha today Defence Minister Sitharaman gave a detailed point-to-point reply to each objection raised by the Opposition parties pertaining to the Rafale Deal. “This country will have to understand that national security is important, whether they (opposition) are in power or we are (BJP). We cannot run away from facts.”
Nirmala Sitharaman said Congress is scared of facts. She added that senior members of the opposition parties do not want to hear her answers and it was very disheartening. This country needs to know that defence purchases are national security-related, said Sitharaman.
Responding to the Congress allegations against dumping HAL from the Rafale deal, Nirmala Sitharaman tore into Congress party saying that it is shedding crocodile tears for HAL issue and accused Congress of not doing nothing to scale up the capacity of the state-run firm. The BJP government gave Rs. 1 lakh crore worth of contracts to HAL, she added.
“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,” said Defence Minister Sitharaman. “Congress did not intend buying the jets. For every ‘AA’ (Anil Ambani) there is a ‘Q’ (Quattrocchi) and ‘RV, (Robert Vadra)” she added.
Citing a press conference of a Congress spokesperson claiming that Congress party will not discuss India’s defence deals with a foreign head of state, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman questioned Rahul Gandhi on how did he say in Parliament that he asked the French President regarding the secrecy pact, who had allegedly denied its existence. “One of them is misleading the country. I want proof of this”, Sitharaman added.
“Defence Ministry has run without any middlemen under PM Modi’s leadership. Bofors was a scam, Rafale is a decision taken in national interest,” Sitharaman said. “Bofors brought Congress down, Rafale will bring Modi back to build new India and remove corruption,” Sitharaman added.
Nirmala Sitharaman also spoke in detail about how the present Rafale deal was better than Congress deal and stated that their basic aircraft would have cost 737 crores against to the basic price paid in the new deal which is 670 crore, 9% lesser than the previous deal. She said that delivery time of the aircraft has also been reduced by 5 months for 36 aircraft and logistics support for 2 squadrons instead of one has been included in the deal without any extra cost.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman slammed Congress party for calling her a liar and Prime Minister a ‘Chor. “I come from a middle-class family, I come with my honour intact, PM comes from an economically backward family. and you call him Chor?” she charged Congress.
It is notable here that on Wednesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also spoken on Congress’ lies and attempts to mislead the country over false accusations regarding the Rafale deal.