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

Congress dismissive of Defence Minister's counter on Rafael deal

He is asking these question because the deal clinched by PM Modi for 36 aircraft costs Rs 1570.8 crore per aircraft, which is three time the price of Rs 526.1 crore negotiated by the UPA government to purchase 126.

The Defence Minister said the central government will remove the hurdles in domestic defence manufacturing.

The government on Friday officially denied the Congress's allegations on the Rafale fighter jet deal, with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stating that the amount paid for each French fighter aircraft by the current government was much lower than the one negotiated by the UPA government during its tenure. "The UPA government from 2004-2014 could not arrive on a decision to address this critical necessity of fighters for the IAF".

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

"These allegations are shameful.The deal was finalised following a transparent procedure", Sitharaman told a press conference.

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When asked about reports that several members of the high-level committee examining the bids dissented and noted that Rafale was not the lowest bidder (L 1), Sitharaman said, "I will go back to see what it is".

Hitting at the government over the same issue, Gandhi, who was talking to reporters after addressing a meeting of his party's newly-formed wing All India Unorganised Workers Congress (AIUWC), said, "I happily answer all your questions fortnightly".

Rahul also took pot shots at PM Modi over the Rafale deal on Twitter saying, "Can you explain "Reliance" on someone with nil experience in aerospace for Rafale deal?"

India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September last year for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs. 58,000 crore, almost one-and-half years after the Prime Minister announced the proposal during a visit to Paris.

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