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Head of Rafale negotiation team Air Marshal SBP Sinha smells malice in the recent attempts to scuttle the Deal

The head of the Indian negotiation team for Rafale said that the team had submitted its report without any dissent, and people who had raised questions were not part of the team

Air Marshal SBP Sinha, who headed the negotiation team for the Rafale deal, today said that the Indian negotiating team had forwarded its final report signed by all the members without any dissent. In an apparent reference to the Hindu’s latest article on the Rafale deal, Sinha has alleged that some notes are being selectively shared to prove a point.

Coming on the heels of another dubious claim made by the Hindu report claiming that the anti-corruption clauses were removed from the Rafale deal, Sinha remarked that such notes are being selectively shared to push forward a vile agenda. Demolishing the claim contended by the Hindu, the head of the Indian negotiating team asserted that until now, India had signed ‘govt to govt’ contracts with America and Russia and no such clause was included in those deals. Following the precedence of earlier ‘govt to govt’ contracts, it wasn’t included in the deal with France as well, he said.

Sinha had earlier too dismissed a controversial note leaked a few days back, claiming interference by the Prime Minister’s Office(PMO) as mischievous malice intended to malign the contract. Air Marshal SBP Sinha also said that SK Sharma, Deputy Secretary (Air-II), who wrote the dissent note, was not part of the Indian negotiation team. ‘On whose behest he initiated this note?’, the head of IMT had then asked. He also added that among the dissent notes being leaker by the media, none of the persons who raised the dissents was part of the negotiation team.

Air Marshal Sinha had further added that he never saw the note and it had got nothing to do with the Indian negotiating team. “It was, at best, an internal deliberation in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) which was settled there,” he said, expressing surprise that such a document has been used to malign the contract.

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