Boss silencing you is 'shameful': Rahul's retort to Sitharaman

Boss silencing you is 'shameful': Rahul's retort to Sitharaman

Boss silencing you is 'shameful': Rahul's retort to Sitharaman

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi slammed the Narendra Modi government saying it was "shameful" that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was being silenced by the PM in connection with Rafale deal.

"Dear RM, what's shameful is your boss silencing you. The UPA government from 2004-2014 could not arrive on a decision to address this critical necessity of fighters for the IAF". Asked if it meant the price under the current government-to-government deal is lesser, she said "absolutely".

After the deal under which 36 Rafale jets are being bought off-the-shelf, there has been talk of purchasing 36 more of the fighters, which might cost lesser under a "follow-on" deal.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday again questioned the deal of procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets with France.

The final agreement for 36 Rafale jets was signed in September 2016 after five rounds of lengthy discussions between India and France, and approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security, the defence minister said.

The Congress had accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of "misleading" the nation on the Rafale fighter aircraft deal by not making public the price of the aircraft, and alleged a "cover-up".

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Rahul questioning why the deal given to a businessman with "no experience" is a repeat of a question he tweeted also two days ago on Thursday: "Can you explain "Reliance" on someone with nil experience in aerospace for Rafale deal?"

However, when asked repeatedly about comparative cost of each aircraft negotiated by the then UPA government and the rate at which the deal was sealed previous year, Sitharaman said she was not running away from sharing the details and asked the officials to give the figures to the media.

The deliveries of the aircraft will start from 2019 end, and will be ended in 2022.

"When we came back in power in 2014, the situation was grim".

Sitharaman's statement came a day after Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa rebutted the Congress accusations on Rafael.

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