NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi slammed the Prime Minister over the secrecy clause in the controversial Rafale jet deal after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Parliament that revealing price of the aircraft was not allowed.
“Top Secret (Not for Distribution). RM says the price negotiated for each RAFALE jet by the PM and his “reliable” buddy is a state secret. Action Points: 1.Informing Parliament about the price is a national security threat, 2.Brand all who ask, Anti National,” Rahul tweeted.
Over the past few months, Rahul has accused Modi of compromising with national security by arbitrarily cancelling an earlier deal signed by the UPA government and then buying the aircraft at a much-inflated price. He also charged Modi with favouring private sector Reliance Defence which signed a sub-contract with French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation over public sector HAL.
Stepping up its attack after Sitharaman’s written reply to Parliament over the price secrecy clause went viral, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad asked the PM to come clean . “The PM keeps saying his government faces no corruption charges. I would like to remind him there are serious charges, but he refuses to get them probed unlike the previous UPA,” he said.
According to Azad, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, while the UPA had decided to purchase the jets at `500 crore per aircraft, Modi allegedly agreed to paying three times more money at `1,500 crore per aircraft.
“To top it, the PM did not go through established procedures for such high-value purchases and did not seek the nod of the Cabinet Committee on Security,” Azad said.