Congress raises more questions on Rafale deal

Congress raises more questions on Rafale deal

"But why don't you ask questions about the Rafale deal and Amit Shah's son Jay from the Prime Minister", Gandhi told reporters.

The minister also rubbished allegations of procedural violations, stating the Rafale deal was signed with "the Cabinet Committee on Security in the loop" and her predecessor Manohar Parrikar's active participation.

Speaking at an interactive session organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce And Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) here on Friday, she said whatever is manufactured by the industry will turn invalid in a year's time in the defence world.

Surjewala asked if the Centre was hiding the purchase price of the 36 Rafale aircraft.

"I am not shying away from giving figures", she said, asking the Defence Secretary to share the numbers.

India inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procuring 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore, almost one-and-half years after Prime Minister Modi announced the proposal during a visit to Paris.

Earlier Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa too said, "It is not overpricing..."

Defending the Rafale deal, she said the government in power then did nothing and the squadron strength was reduced.

As per the 36-fighter deal inked by the NDA government, which does not include any ToT, each jet comes for around Rs 710 crore. "It is lower than what was there in the MRMCA contract", he said without going into specifics. She also claimed that no private party is involved in the acquisition of 36 Rafale aircrafts. Why don't you question Prime Minister Modi on the Rafale deal, or on Amit Shah's son.

The Congress has alleged that the government neglected the interests of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - as Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale aircraft, refused to transfer technology to it - and instead entered into an agreement with Reliance Defence. The minister was highly critical of the UPA government for not finalising the Rafale deal during its decade-long rule.