Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday wondered why the Modi government was refusing to make the price of the Rafale jets public, and called it a “scam.”
“For the first time, the Defence Minister is saying we will not share details of the money spent on buying aircraft … I spoke during the Gujarat polls that there is a scam [in the Rafale deal],” he told presspersons outside the Parliament building.
Targeting the Prime Minister, he said, “Modi ji had personally gone to Paris. Personally the deal was changed. Entire India knows it. And the Defence Minister is saying she will not inform India, the Indian martyrs and their relatives about the money spent on buying those aircraft. What does this mean? This only means there is some scam.”
Mr. Gandhi’s attack came just a day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a written response to questions from Opposition MPs including Rajeev Gowda of the Congress, refused to divulge the price of Rafale jets citing a security clause between India and France.
In the Lok Sabha, during a debate on the President’s address, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia sought a White Paper.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mr. Gowda and the party’s communication chief Randeep Surjewala posed several questions to the government.
“UPA had signed the deal where the cost per aircraft was Rs. 526.1 crore. What we have heard is that the same Rafale jets have now been procured for Rs. 1570.8 crores. Is it true,” Mr. Azad said.