New Delhi, Feb 6: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the rendra Modi government for maintaining “secrecy” on the deal with 36 Rafale fighter jets with France after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharam told Parliament that its details were “classified information” and could not be disclosed.
Rafale deal: Rahul slams government secrecy, Congress claims big scam brewing
The Congress meanwhile termed the deal a “great Indian mystery”, and claimed that a “huge scam” is brewing as due procedures in the purchase of aircraft were not followed and the jets were bought off the shelf “like oranges”. “Top Secret (Not for Distribution) RM (Raksha Minister) says the price negotiated for each Rafale jet by the PM and his ‘reliable’ buddy is a state secret,” Gandhi said in a tweet. “Action Points — Informing Parliament about the price is a tiol security threat and Brand all who ask, anti-tiol,” he said in another tweet.
The Congress said pointed out that the government is not disclosing the exact cost of the entire deal but it “heard” that the new cost per jet is around three times higher than the cost filised in the deal struck by the UPA government in 2012. Gowda, a Rajya Sabha member, had on Monday asked the government through a question the cost of each Rafale jet as per the new deal, but the government refused to disclose it, with Sitharman, in a written reply, maintaining that as per Article 10 of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between the Indian and French governments on the deal, the classified information and material is governed by the provisions of the security agreement signed between the two tions in 2008. Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the upper house, said that the UPA had sought to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets at the cost of roughly Rs 526 crore per jet with transfer of technology. (IANS)