NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi yet again attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the alleged favours given to pass the multi-crore Rafale fighter jet deal. Issuing a 'Modi Scam Alert', Rahul on Saturday tweeted: "15 Billion $ fighter jet deal re-tendered. PM's friends race to tie up STRATEGIC partners. RAFALE, 40,000 Cr. loss to exchequer was "Sayonara" money to French, so PM could re-tender contract and favour friends. (sic)."
Rahul has been accused the Narendra Modi government of causing over Rs 40,000 crore loss to the exchequer in the purchase of Rafale fighter aircraft from France. The Congress has been claiming that the 36 Rafale fighter planes with the French government was finalised by the Centre at a higher price than the previous deal for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) negotiated by the UPA government.
While the Congress has been asking the Centre to reveal the price of the deal, the Modi government has denied the request. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the price of the jets cannot be revealed in the interest of national security.
"Rahul Gandhi is searching for ammunition against the government but hasn't found anything. So he's fishing. Rafale is a classic example of inter-governmental agreement to help our air forces. In every way we have got a good deal, both in terms of preparedness as well as on the price. But revealing the price would mean compromising national security. I don't want to satisfy Rahul Gandhi's ego and reveal details of avionics, ammunitions and the changes made as per the country conditions to this sophisticated aircraft," she had said.
India and France signed an agreement in March on the Exchange and Reciprocal Protection of Classified or Protected Information during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, replacing an earlier pact signed in 2008.
It defines the common security regulations applicable to any exchange of classified and protected information between the two countries.