New Delhi: Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Thursday, in a fresh attack at Congress party over the ongoing row over Rafale deal, said that all things cannot be revealed in public. Talking to news agency ANI, Bhamre said, “Price has been shared not only once but many times. The basic price of Rafale is less than that of UPA. If all things are told before media about Rafale then our enemies from across the border will no longer need to field their secret agencies.” Also Read - Centre Faces Tough Question as Pressure Mounts to Impose Full Lockdown in India to Beat COVID Surge
It is here to be noted that time and again the Congress has stepped up its attack on the government over the Rafale deal and is seeking to make it a major poll issue ahead of assembly elections in some key states later this year and the parliamentary election in 2019. Also Read - Impose Complete Lockdown in India: Traders' Body Urges PM Modi Amid COVID Surge
Bhamre further said, “If we have to face both the fronts then total 42 fighter aircraft are needed and currently we have 33 aircraft. Hence, these operational criticalities have been there since 2001, Congress did nothing from 2001 to 2013.”
The controversy has started after Francois Hollande had told French Journal Media in an interview that the French side had no role in deciding the Offset partner for Dassault and the name of Reliance was given by the Indian side. Hollande had made this statement while defending himself and his partner Julie Gayet over alleged funding by Reliance of the latter’s film.
It may be worth mentioning here that PM Modi had announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighters after holding talks with Hollande on April 10, 2015, in Paris.
Meanwhile, a delegation of senior Congress leaders had also met the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and demanded registration of a case in alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal. The Congress had launched an offensive against the BJP government over the Rafale deal, alleging corruption and violation of rules by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded answers from him.