Congress has been alleging that a “huge scam is brewing” in the procurement of the 36 fighter jets from France and accused the Prime Minister of promoting interests of Reliance Defence Limited.
Calling the bickering over the deal as “disservice” to the armed forces, the defence minister also cited the urgent requirement of the Indian Air Force as the main reason for sealing the deal.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said, “These allegations are shameful…The deal was finalised following a transparent procedure,” Sitharaman told reporters.
Refuting the allegations, Sitharaman said the final agreement for 36 Rafale jets was signed in September, 2016, after five rounds of lengthy discussions between Indian and French sides and approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security.
She also accused the UPA government of sitting over the proposed procurement of jets for 10 years.
On Thursday, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa threw his weight behind the central government over the Rafale aircraft deal, saying the government had negotiated a better deal on Rafale jets than the previous one.
“There is no controversy. What is the controversy, I don’t understand. It is not overpriced. The government has negotiated a very good deal. We have negotiated a better deal than we did with Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA). In fact, the price of 36 aircraft is lower than in the MMRCA contract as we are getting 50 per cent off-set and service facility, and I think the government has negotiated a very good deal”.
Earlier Congress Vice president accused Modi government of scam on rafale aircraft deal.