Sitharaman rubbishes media report on Rafale deal as 'flogging a dead horse'

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman | File photo

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday dismissed the media report on the Rafale jet deal as "flogging a dead horse" and accused the opposition of playing into the hands of multinational companies and vested interests.

Sitharaman's suo motu statement came in Lok Sabha in the wake of protests by Congress and other opposition over the report which claimed that the Defence Ministry had protested to the PMO over the mechanism being adopted for the Rafale deal.

"They are flogging a dead horse. Periodical enquiries by the PMO cannot be construed as interference," the minister said during the Zero Hour.

The Defence Minister charged the opposition with playing into the hands of multinational companies and vested interests and not working in the interests of the Indian Air Force.

Referring to the report, which claimed that the then Defence Secretary had objected to the PMO allegedly conducting price negotiations with the French company, Sitharaman said the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had replied to the letter asking the official to remain "calm" as everything was "alright".

Sitharaman also alleged that the then Chairperson of the National Advisory Council Sonia Gandhi used to run the PMO regularly during the UPA regime.

"Was that not interference?," she asked.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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