Nirmala Sitharaman counters Rahul Gandhi’s baseless allegations on Rafale deal

nirmala, rahul gandhi
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Congress President Rahul Gandhi today got a chance to make his ‘sensational’ speech which was supposed to ‘shut up the BJP leaders’. Like all other speeches made by Rahul Gandhi, this speech too bombed drastically. There was an astonishing number of gaffess both verbal and factual in his 30 minutes long speech. 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 which 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 take political mileage and make it an election campaign topic. 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.

Rahul Gandhi should have known which battles to pick and against whom. His lack of experience was in full display with the speech he made today which looked more like a compilation of Whatsapp forwards than a strategic and detailed attack on the experienced central government leadership. Nirmala Sitharaman’s counter-attack shut him up and for good, at least now there is a hope that the monsoon session can go on unhindered and some good decisions on important topics can come from this.

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