Rafale debate an artificial storm: Nirmala Sitharaman.

Rafale debate an artificial storm: Nirmala Sitharaman.


Nirmala Sitharaman with Air Marshal (retd) Shirish Deo ,left, and Dr. Anirban Ganguly, director of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation.  

All questions on the fighter jet deal has been answered in detail, says Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said all questions pertaining to the deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets had been answered in detail both in the Parliament and outside.

She then questioned if the intention of the debate, which she referred to as “artificial storm”, was to sabotage the deal or cancel the procurement.

On Thursday, The Hindu, published an exhaustive story on the huge price escalation in the 36 jet deal compared to the earlier 126 jets acquisition which was scrapped.

Ms. Sitharaman said in all debates on defence procurements, there is fine line between transparency and national security. Stating that the Congress has not bought any jet, or even concluded the negotiations, Ms. Sitharaman said that when someone is trying to [buy the jets] there are attempts to question by pushing the strategic interests of the country.

Taking a dig at the Congress, Ms. Sitharaman said defence procurements are cumbersome but in the past the rigour has been “tweaked” for somebody who has not gone through the system or “corners have been cut.” “For good or bad, this government choose not to have middlemen at all. Not just in Rafale but in all deals… We have not had any middlemen in the corridors of South Block,” she stated.

Ms. Sitharaman said the deal was necessitated as adversaries in the neighbourhood were acquiring 4th generation and possibly 5th generation aircraft while the IAF was flying with older aircraft.CommentsRelated TopicsNationalnational politicsRecommended for youClose XPilgrim list controversy leaves govt. red-facedViews invited for draft Emigration BillElection Commission urged to shift CEOFive killed as avalanche hits Leh, five trappedTwo women who entered Sabarimala temple move SC for protectionPole climbing tests for JLM posts recruitmentShades of ShakespeareHigh Court orders job for pregnant womanPerumal Murugan on identity politics, caste, and moreWoman alleges rape by threePilgrim list controversy leaves govt. red-facedViews invited for draft Emigration BillElection Commission urged to shift CEOFive killed as avalanche hits Leh, five trappedTwo women who entered Sabarimala temple move SC for protectionPole climbing tests for JLM posts recruitmentShades of ShakespeareHigh Court orders job for pregnant womanPerumal Murugan on identity politics, caste, and moreWoman alleges rape by threePilgrim list controversy leaves govt. red-facedViews invited for draft Emigration BillElection Commission urged to shift CEOFive killed as avalanche hits Leh, five trapped

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