P Chidambaram questions ‘delayed emergency’ in purchase of Rafale jets from France

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New Delhi | Published: September 1, 2018 3:28:10 PM

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday stepped up the attack on the government over the purchase of 36 Rale fighter jets from France, saying 'not one aircraft has arrived in the country so far'.

P Chidambaram, Rafale deal, Rafale fighter jet, Congress, FranceP Chidambaram questions ‘delayed emergency’ in purchase of Rafale jets from France

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday stepped up the attack on the government over the purchase of 36 Rale fighter jets from France, saying ‘not one aircraft has arrived in the country so far’. Taking a dig on the government over its argument that it had to go in for an emergency procurement of 36 Rafale jets, the Congress leader said that “the emergency purchase will be delivered after 7 years”.

Questioning the ‘delayed emergency’, he said, “People are asking what is this aircraft? Not one has arrived in this country so far.”

“What is this emergency purchase? Have you been in an emergency purchase with a delivery date 7 years later?” he asked.

The BJP and Congress are on the warpath for the last six months over the purchase of Rafale jets from France. While the Congress has been alleging a scam and demanding a JPC probe, the BJP has been maintaining that the deal was signed in a transparent manner and details can’t be put in the public domain due to a secrecy clause signed between New Delhi and Paris during the Congress-led UPA’s tenure.

In last few days, the Congress party has stepped up attack on the government, demanding a JPC probe into the matter. On Friday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the government was ‘scared to face people’ and therefore it is not constituting a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Rafale fighter jet deal.

Arun Jaitley was writing lengthy blogs, but the government was silent on the demand for a JPC probe into the issue. Jaitley is scared to ask the PM about constituting a JPC,” he had told reporters at a press conference.

The Congress chief had even referred to the joint statement issued after PM Narendra Modi announced the Rafale deal which mentioned that the aircraft will be delivered on the same configuration as had been earlier approved by the Indian Air Force. Rahul has also questioned the decision to award the contract to Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani’s firm that was floated just a few days before the deal was signed.

Responding to the Congress, the BJP has said that people have rejected the Congress and the versions presented by Rahul Gandhi. Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Arun Jaitley had told news ANI that the cost of the fully-loaded jets are 20 % cheaper than what the UPA had decided in 2007.

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