NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh on Wednesday hit out at those criticising the Rafale deal calling them illiterate. "Those who are making accusations are illiterate. They don't have any knowledge about it. So it won't be right to further comment on it," Singh said.
The Centre has been facing fire over allegations that the Rafale deal has been done at a higher price than the previous one decided by the Congress-led government.
The Congress had on Tuesday said the decision to buy the French jets was made in violation of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and the process was structured subsequently to legitimise it.
The Modi government has made public a redacted version of its affidavit to apex court detailing the decision to purchase 36 fighter jets from France's Dassault.
However, Congress said that the affidavit conceals more than it reveals."Modi announced the new deal in April 2015 while the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal to buy 126 Rafales (during the UPA regime) was scrapped only in June 2015. So how did the government conclude that it needed to buy only 36 jets? Was the Indian Air Force on board to roll back the procurement from 126 to 36 aircraft? If the MMRCA collapsed as the government claims, then was a fresh process initiated for the new deal," Congress leader Manish Tewari said.
"Modi has admitted to his theft in the Supreme Court. In the affidavit, he admitted to changes in the contract without asking the Air Force and putting Rs 30,000 crore in Ambani's pocket," Congress president Rahul Gandhi had tweeted.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had hit back at Rahul saying the Congress President was trying to create a controversy around sensitive defence requirements to compensate for his "failed politics". Accusing the UPA government of delaying the Rafale purchase, Jaitley claimed the Modi-led NDA government bought the fighter aircraft at a price cheaper than what UPA was negotiating.