Rahul Gandhi issues notice in Parliament, to speak on Rafale deal


NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has issued a notice under rule 357 to speak on the Rafale deal in Parliament today, reported Times Now.

His party has long demanded answers on the inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

Congress has alleged irregularities in the deal, claiming that the jets were being bought at a price higher than the one negotiated in the previous multi-role combat aircraft deal. As part of the latter, 126 fighter jets were to be bought, along with a transfer of technology.

The current price of the deal is around Rs 58,000 crore.

In fact, just yesterday, Gandhi took to Twitter to demand answers from the government.

“Why did the Raksha Mantri change her stance from: I will reveal the price of the RAFALE planes in Nov 2017 to the price is a state secret in Feb 2018
A. Corruption
B. To protect Modiji
C. To protect Modiji’s friend
D. All of above,” tweeted Rahul.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this week refused to bring into the public domain details about the deal as it was “classified information” – a departure from her comment in November last year that she was “not shying away from giving the figures” and could “any time prove that the deal we obtained is far better” than the one negotiated by the previous UPA government.

In this, the Congress saw the brewing of a major scam.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of jeopardising national security with its continued demands for disclosure of details in the deal.

 He claimed that the Congress was resorting to creating a crisis with reference to the Rafale deal, since it had no corruption charges against the Narendra Modi-led government.
“Your party was stigmatised when in government because of allegations of corruption. Now the new act is, let us manufacture an allegation of corruption against NDA,” he charged.

(With inputs from agencies)


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