Congress raises questions over Rafale deal, asks BJP govt to publish final details of contract

India on Friday inked a Euro 7.87 billion (approx Rs 59,000) deal with France for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear weapons and equipped with latest missiles that will give the IAF greater 'potency' over arch rival Pakistan.

PTI September 24, 2016 16:05:41 IST
Congress raises questions over Rafale deal, asks BJP govt to publish final details of contract

New Delhi: Raising several questions over the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale fighter jet deal, Congress on Saturday said the absence of any provision of technology transfer would cost India "very heavily".

Former Defence Minister AK Antony also demanded making public the inter-governmental agreement with France. He wondered how India would bridge the gap with respect to China and Pakistan by acquiring just 36 aircraft when the original plan was for 126.

Addressing a press conference along with party spokesman Manish Tewari at the AICC headquarters, Antony lamented that the idea of 'Make in India' which was there in the original plan has also "gone" in the present deal.

Congress raises questions over Rafale deal asks BJP govt to publish final details of contract

A Rafale fighter aircraft. Reuters

"During UPA, we had planned to buy 126 aircraft to strengthen IAF which was its urgent operational requirement considering security situation in the country," Antony said wondering why only 36 aircraft were being bought.

"Is it enough to meet operational requirement of the IAF which has a sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons and.... at present there are just 32 squadrons?", Antony asked. A squadron has generally 18 aircraft.

Suggesting that more aircraft were necessary for the operational requirement of the IAF, he said, otherwise, by 2022 the squadron available with IAF would be reduced to 25.

"I don't want to comment on the present price before I know the exact details. Government must publish the details of the final contract," Antony said

"Today we read inspired pieces in some media, which claim the present Government has saved money by hard negotiations. That's not true!", he said adding, "You can't compare the Rafale deal price during UPA Government's time and now."

India on Friday inked a Euro 7.87 billion (approx Rs 59,000) deal with France for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear weapons and equipped with latest missiles that will give the IAF greater "potency" over arch rival Pakistan.

Updated Date:

also read

'BJP and NCP like two ends of river', Nawab Malik's clarification on speculations over Modi-Pawar meet
India

'BJP and NCP like two ends of river', Nawab Malik's clarification on speculations over Modi-Pawar meet

Notably, the NCP had offered outside support to the BJP in Maharashtra after the 2014 polls. However, the BJP had come to power with the support of the Shiv Sena

Shashi Tharoor-headed Standing Committee on IT to discuss Pegasus snooping issue today
India

Shashi Tharoor-headed Standing Committee on IT to discuss Pegasus snooping issue today

The 32-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, for which the listed agenda is "Citizens' data security and privacy"

Speculation mounts as BS Yediyurappa hints at possible exit post from Karnataka CM's post; who said what
Politics

Speculation mounts as BS Yediyurappa hints at possible exit post from Karnataka CM's post; who said what

The 78-year-old Lingayat strongman said he had offered to resign two months ago with an intention to make way for others and asserted that he won't name a possible successor even if asked to