The Government Has No Answers on Rafale: P Chidambaram

The Government Has No Answers on Rafale: P Chidambaram

India

Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj

Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram has stressed the fact that the government seems to have no answer for many questions with regard to the Rafale deal.

In an interview with The Quint’s Sanjay Pugalia, Chidambaram said that they have no problem with private companies doing business in this country and that “the issue is very different in Rafale.”

“I’ve asked 10 questions and I’ve said I can ask more. I won’t ask you 10, I’ll pick out 3 questions”, Chidambaram said.

Why Was the Earlier MoU Cancelled?

Chidambaram stressed that there should be a concrete reason for why the earlier MoU was cancelled, just as there is a proper reason why someone moves houses – a leak, for instance, or a neighbourhood which is not proper.

There must be some reason before you vacate your old house and go to your new house. So why did you cancel the earlier MoU for 126 aircraft? There has been no answer.

Also Read : I-T Raids Are Govt’s Way of Warning The Quint: P Chidambaram

Why Buy Only 36 Aircraft?

Chidambaram pointed out that the Air Force needs seven squadrons – 126 aircraft, which Dassault is ready to sell. If the price is indeed 9-20 percent cheaper, as the government has claimed, then what is the reason for buying only 36 aircrafts?

If the price is cheaper and the seller is willing to sell 126 aircraft, why are you buying only 36 aircrafts? No answer.

Also Read : From Rafale to Economy, Modi Govt Seems Clueless: Chidambaram

Why Wasn’t HAL Given Prominence?

Chidambaram questioned why the government did not ask Dassault to choose HAL, especially since the latter has 70 years of experience and has built Sukhoi, Mirage, MiGs and now its own Tejas.

Why did you not tell Dassault, ‘Please consider HAL?’ Why did Dassault ditch HAL and choose a private sector partner? There is no answer.

Chidambaram also questioned how the defence minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) could say that she had no information about Dassault entering into an agreement with a private sector company, when on the same day that she met French Defence Minister Florence Parly, the latter flew to Nagpur to lay the foundation stone of an event attended by Mr Gadkari, Mr Fadnavis, the French ambassador to India and the chairman of Dassault.

The photographs were all over the place. So how can the defence minister of India say, “I know nothing about it”?

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