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Rafale in Lok Sabha: Sitharaman takes on Congress and Rahul, question by question | Live Updates

In her counter on Day 3 of the debate of the Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman explained how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) stitched the deal with the Dasault Aviation.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday took on the Congress party and its chief Rahul Gandhi – question by question, even as her spirited reply was met with a few interruptions.

In her counter on Day 3 of the debate of the Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman explained how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) stitched the deal with the Dasault Aviation and why the contract was given to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence.

Sitharaman said, “We have got a better deal for this country.”

She also gave an assurance that the first aircraft would be delivered in September this year and 36 aircraft would be delivered in the year 2022.

There was a moment when Congress president Rahul Gandhi disrupted Sitharaman’s address as she mentioned his name. The whole Lok Sabha broke into chaos and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had to intervene to aid the continuation of the session.

“You will get the chance to clarify. After her speech, I will give you some time,” Mahajan told Rahul.

The winter session of the Parliament began on December 11, 2018 and will conclude on January 8, 2019.



The senior members of the Opposition don’t want to hear my answers. It is very disheartening. This country needs to know that defence purchases are national security related and very important, whether they are in power or we are.
We have had wars at the northern and western frontiers. Timely purchase equipment should be the priority. We have to recognise the sense of urgency.
For every AA [Anil Ambani], there is an RV [Robert Vadra] and Q [Quattrocchi].
There is a difference between defence dealings and dealing in defence. We don’t do defence dealings. We deal in defence with national security as a priority.
The first aircraft will be delivered in September, 2019 and 36 aircraft will be delivered in the year 2022. The process of negotiation was finished in 14 months.
The UPA did nothing to improve the condition the HAL was in. All those who shed crocodile tears have done nothing to improve it
When Rahul Gandhi held a meeting near HAL Bengaluru, he said, “Rafale is your right. You should have produced it.”
[Mallikarjun] Kharge ji, who is a member of the standing committee that looked into various issues related to defence production, in a report, had stated, “The standing committee is disappointed to know that even after three decades HAL hasn’t been able to develop the required aircraft.”
The Congress party is shedding crocodile tears for HAL. The Congress government gave 53 waivers to HAL. We have given contracts worth Rs 1 lakh crore.
The assumption that these fighters are available off the shelf is really mistaken. None of this is available of the shelf.
What we are saying is that we will get two squadrons in flyaway condition. You are misleading the country by saying the number of jets was reduced to 36. Whenever there is an emergency purchase of aircraft that has to be made, they are normally for two squadrons.
Buying two squadrons is not because someone chose to do it. It is because the IAF advised it. Eighteen has been enhanced to 36. And for the rest we have issued RFP. In 1982, when Pakistan was buying F-16s, the Indian government then decided to buy two squadrons of MIG-23 MF from erstwhile Soviet Union. In 1985, again two squadrons of Mirage 2000 were bought from France and in 1987, two squadrons of MIG-29.
The Congress has been lying repeatedly. This entire campaign has been on falsehoods and totally irresponsible allegations.
Why did the party go to AgustaWestland? Why couldn’t the Congress give chopper deal to HAL?
The Congress has invoked the secrecy clause many times in past. The basic price of aircraft has been disclosed. Price of avionics and weapons cannot be disclosed.
Speaker ma’am, can I please request you to bring order into the House? They all are more interested in disturbing me, not in listening to me.
We have got a better deal for this country.
The Congress party has not been able to maintain consistency in its allegation. On January 29, Congress said that the deal is worth Rs 700 crore, in July, they said that the jets were bought at Rs 520 crore. In August, the Congress party said that the price is Rs 540 crore and later in the same month, they said that the price was Rs 526 crore.
When we bought equipment from Russia also, there was no sovereign guarantee.
You stopped the deal, forgetting Air Force was suffering. You didn’t conclude the deal, because it didn’t suit you. The deal didn’t get you money.
News Credit: India Today
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