Congress party has once again sought an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale jet deal. The party had alleged that purchasing just 36 Rafale aircrafts would compromise national security. The principal opposition party was especially concerned about what they have termed an almost “daily incursion” by China.
The Congress party has been taking on the Central government ever since the Prime Minister had expressed his desire to buy just 36 Rafale aircrafts instead of 126. The Prime Minister had taken up agreement on Rafale with his French counterpart Hollande on his trip to France early in the month of April.
“We demand that the Prime Minister with his great jingoism about patriotism, national security and defence of India come clean on this because repeatedly, the Air Force has demanded at least 45 Squadrons comprising 20 aircrafts each,” party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said addressing the press.
The party spokesperson went on claiming that “today India has less than 27 Squadrons comprising MIGs and Mirages”.
The stand-off between the Congress and the ruling-BJP heightened further with the Union Defence Minister too defending the purchase of just 36 aircrafts and not going for the set requirement of 126 aircrafts, terming it “economically unviable”. The Congress party has now expressed concern over the stand taken by the Defence Minister. They claim that several defence experts have pitched for the previous demand of 126 aircrafts, and cutting it down to 36 may just hamper the preparedness of the forces.
“Are you not compromising national security when there have been daily incursions from China?” Singhvi asked
The Congress spokesperson also took on the government over PM Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative. Seeking to know if there was any plan to manufacture Rafale in India and if it was so whether state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd or an “unnamed but known private manufacturer” will be making it.
Earlier on his visit to France, the Prime Minster had met with French President Francois Hollande, where both the leaders had agreed to conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement on Rafale aircrafts.
“Keeping in view the critical operational necessity of fighter aircraft in India, I have asked President to provide 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition as quickly as possible. We both have decided that these will be provided to India in modified terms and conditions,” PM Modi had said in a joint statement at Paris.