In a report on the Rafale Deal, The Hindu deliberately cropped off an internal note of the Ministry of Defense to exclude the then Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar’s response and present a distorted view of the events that transpired. The Hindu had published the following copy of the note.
But soon the full page of the note was published by ANI, which showed that the document was cropped by The Hindu to omit the reply by defence minister Manohar Parrikar to the note.
In his reply, which was cropped out by The Hindu to peddle its agenda, Parrikar asked the Defense Secretary to take up the matter with the Pr. Secretary to Prime Minister and resolve the matter. He also calls it an ‘overreaction’ by the Deputy Secretary (Air-II). He states, “It appears that PMO and French President’s office are monitoring the progress of the issue which was an outcome of the summit meeting. Para 5 appears to be an over reaction. Def Sec may resolve issue/matter in consultation with Pr. Sec to P.M.”
ANI accesses the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s reply to MoD dissent note on #Rafale negotiations.”It appears PMO and French President office are monitoring the progress of the issue which was an outcome of the summit meeting. Para 5 appears to be an over reaction” pic.twitter.com/3dbGB9xF4Z
— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2019
Nitin A. Gokhale, National Security Analyst, has also remarked that it is normal practice for the PMO to receive calls from counterparts in other countries.
Ref: The Hindu report: pure obfuscation. Normal practice for PMO to receive calls from its counterparts in other countries. As this letter by French PM shows, the French Govt was taking full guarantee. The Indian negotiating team was okay with it once Ministry of law cleared it. pic.twitter.com/wrWFrs7vln
— Nitin A. Gokhale (@nitingokhale) February 8, 2019
The Congress President had used the slanted The Hindu report which presented a distorted version of events to claim that Narendra Modi had stolen Rs. 30,000 crores. The Defence Minister’s reply makes it clear that both PMO and French President offices were monitoring the government to government deal, and the comments of the secretary are an overreaction. Furthermore, the then Defense Secretary, G Mohan Kumar, had made it clear that the negotiations he had referred to in his dissent note had nothing to with pricing at all.
It is also important to note that the Deputy Secretary (Air-II), who wrote the dissent note, was neither a part of Defence Acquisition Council nor a part of Indian Negotiating Team for the defence deal.
Yesterday in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Modi had accused the Congress party of attempting to undermine the defence preparedness of the armed forces of the country and claimed that the party does not want Indian Armed Forces to be strong. In light of today’s events, where Rahul Gandhi used a distorted document to further attack the Rafale deal, the Narendra Modi may well find a lot more takers for the serious accusations he levelled against the Congress.