CPM slams Centre's refusal to share details on Rafale deal, calls Nirmala Sitharaman's stance 'completely unacceptable'

New Delhi: The CPM on Wednesday criticised the defence minister's statement in Parliament regarding the Rafale deal and alleged that the Centre was hiding facts from Parliament.

On Monday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had refused to share the details of the deal on the grounds of the security agreement signed between India and France.

Her response had come on a written question in the Rajya Sabha from Samajwadi Party member Naresh Agrawal, who had asked why the government did not want to put the details of
the agreement between India and France for purchasing the fighter aircraft in the public domain.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Stating that the defence minister's statement in Parliament was "completely unacceptable", the Left party accused her of suppressing information about the deal.

It also alleged that since the deal was re-negotiated, there were reports that the price paid for the planes was much higher than what had been decided in the previous agreement.

"The stance of the defence minister that the details of the inter-governmental agreement is 'classified information' is untenable. A defence deal involving billions of dollars cannot be kept confidential. Why is it that the government is hiding this information from the sovereign authority of the country, the Parliament?" the CPM said in a statement.

Alleging that the Centre had refused to share information in Parliament about a deal that had created a "huge and unjustified burden" on the national exchequer, the Left party also claimed that the deal had "grave implications" for both the defence sector and public sector units involved in defence production.

It urged the government to reveal the details of the Rafale deal in Parliament in the interest of transparency and probity.

Updated Date: Feb 07, 2018 21:11 PM

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