Rahul attacks Sitharaman over Rafale deal prices

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of allegedly lying on the price paid per Rafale aircraft, citing a Dassault report.

"Dassault called RM's (Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman) lie and released prices paid per RAFALE plane in report," he said in a series of tweets.

"Qatar 1319 crore, MODI (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) 1670 crore, Manmohan Singh (MMS) 570 crore," he wrote, citing the Dassault Aviation Annual Report 2016.

"1,100 crore per plane or 36,000 crore i.e 10 per cent of our defence budget, in the pocket."

"Meanwhile, our Army begs our government for money," he added attaching a couple of pages from the report.

The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday ruled out any plan to issue a White Paper on the Rafale fighter jet deal, which has been questioned by opposition parties.

Congress MP K.V. Thomas, in a written question in the Lok Sabha, had asked if the government had been urged to issue a White Paper on the Rafale deal by "defence experts as well as some political leaders", and its reaction. But Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre replied in the negative to both the questions.

The Opposition Congress had alleged that the deal for 36 Rafale fighter planes with the French government was finalised at a higher price than the previous deal for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA).

--IANS

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