France releases statement on Rafale deal proving Rahul Gandhi lied in Parliament today

France Rafale Rahul Gandhi
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Hours after Rahul Gandhi brazenly lied about the Rafale deal on the House floor during the no confidence motion proceedings, France has released a statement countering Rahul’s lies regarding the deal.

Rahul had said that the NDA era Rafale deal for fighter aircrafts was struck at a much higher price than the deal  during the UPA tenure. He also accused the Defence Minister of obfuscating the details of the deal from the public and hiding the cost/unit so as to mislead the nation. Sitharaman, in her reply to Rahul Gandhi, had stated that the cost/unit information of the deal comes under the confidentiality agreement signed between the two parties during the UPA era. As such, the ministry cannot reveal the per unit cost of the fighter jets.

Now, France has confirmed the same and specifically cited Rahul Gandhi’s speech in parliament and backed the Defence Minister’s response to Rahul’s lies.

Earlier in the day, the Congress President chose to target Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the Rafale deal which has been finalized under the present BJP government led by PM Modi. The Congress President believed that the statements issued by him would prove to be path breaking and would be lauded in the public, but it failed to even cause a stir.

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s reply came after she demanded time to lay to rest the allegations raised against her by the Congress leader in his speech. After his speech, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan gave her the much needed opportunity, and Nirmala Sitharaman launched an attack on the Congress leader. The Defence Minister spoke about the non-disclosure agreement which had been signed in 2008, she said, “As per Article 10 of IGA between Govt. Of India & Govt. Of France, on purchase of Rafale aircraft, protection of classified information & materials exchanged under IGA shall be governed by provisions of security agreements signed on January 25, 2008”. This means that the deal between the Indian and the French government was signed in the Congress led UPA-I rule and thus Rahul Gandhi’s attempts to harm the incumbent BJP government by futile and baseless agreements were laid to rest. She also reiterated that the French government had indeed requested for the details of the deal to not be disclosed as the deal was very sensitive in nature.

The truth is that the Rafale deal was finalized almost 3 years ago by the current BJP government. The Congress had started making statements against it just to generate political mileage and make it an election issue. The deal finalized by the BJP government has twice the number of aircrafts in flyaway conditions than the earlier one finalized by the Congress. Under UPA, the cost of each aircraft was about 100 million euros. But under NDA, the cost of each aircraft has come down to 90 million euros.

Now that the response from France has proven that Rahul Gandhi was lying on the house floor and directly targeting a cabinet minister, BJP must move a privilege motion against him as soon as the drama of no confidence motion settles.

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Ashish Dwivedi is an Associate Editor at rightlog.in. He hails from Ram Nagari Ayodhya.
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