Rahul playing into MNC hands & keen to cancel Rafale deal with France, says Govt

Rahul playing into MNC hands & keen to cancel Rafale deal with France, says Govt

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 8: The NDA government and the BJP on Friday slammed Congress and especially its chief Rahul Gandhi for raking up the Rafale row yet again and said the opposition party was unnecessarily giving credence to a section of media that only carried a biased report.

"We want to allege that Rahul Gandhi and Congress are working with a single point agenda to get the Rafale aircraft deal cancelled," BJP leader and Union Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.

"They are playing into the hands of foreign power and the vested interests of the multi national companies. They are least bothered that the Indian Air Force will be weakened by their stance," he said.

In 2011, it was the Congress-led UPA regime only that had selected and finalised the deal with Rafale but they stalled it at a later stage. "Question is why it was stopped," he said adding perhaps they realised there will not be adequate commission in the deal.

In this context, he said Congress never entertained any defence deal without 'commission'.

"Today also, they seemed to have grievance that there was no kickback or commission," Mr Javadekar mocked.

The BJP leader also wanted to know that the Congress president should clarify which defence manufacturers he had met during his recent European visit.

Mr Javadekar said - "The newspaper report they are quoting has also reported only on the noting of bureaucrat...The response to it from the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has not been reported".

"In his response, the then Defence Minister (Parrikar) had clarified that after two nation heads meet and held Summit talks and the progress of such meetings are monitored by the PMO. Even French President's office also monitor such parleys and it's all correct," he said.

Mr Javadekar charged that Mr Gandhi is not showing faith in the Supreme Court also.

"The top court has made it clear that there was no corruption in Rafale deal," the Union Minister said.

"In the end, it will be proven that Rahul Gandhi who chants Rafale-Rafale will turn to 'Rafale Fail'," he said.

Responding to opposition members' sloganeering and persistent demand for JPC in the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also said that the opposition parties were not interested in strengthening the Indian Air Force.

"They are playing into the hands of MNCs and the vested interests," she also alleged.

Ms Sitharaman said the opposition leaders and also a section of media were only "flogging a dead horse".

The Minister said during the debate on Rafale on January 4 during Winter Session, she had already answered to all queries and controversies on the Rafale deal with France.

Moreover, she said the media report smacks of motivation as it did not include in the report the noting from the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who had said categorically that there was "nothing wrong and everything was on right track".

"The routine queries on any matter from the Prime Minister's Office should not be taken as interference....," she said adding if that was the case, what was Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) doing. (UNI)