BJP hits back at Congress, says Rafale deal profitable

BJP hits back at Congress, says Rafale deal profitable
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New Delhi: The BJP on Friday hit back at Congress over its allegations on the Rafale fighter jet deal, saying it had been “profitable” to the country.

THe party said the Modi government negotiated the deal with France at nine per cent less cost compared to that done by the former UPA.

The BJP posted a video with headline “Facts you need to know about Rafale deal!” on its official twitter handle claiming that the “most ambitious fighter aircraft aquisition project” from France was fixed at Euro 91.75 mn/aircraft (Rs 733.66 crore, as per current exchange rate: one Euro equals to Rs 79.96).

According to the video, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team put their best efforts to rework the Rafale deal with France in 2016 and “it successfully finalised the deal at 9 per cent less cost” by buying 36 aircraft at Rs 733.66 crore apiece.”

The video also claimed that in 2011 the price negotiated by the UPA for 126 Rafale aircraft was Euro 100.85 mn/aircraft (Rs 806.43 crore/aircraft).

Earlier, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi rejected the fresh allegations as “baseless” , saying the opposition party is repeating same claims in “frustration” which has already been rebutted by Union Ministers and the French government.

“The BJP never levelled allegations in defence deals. It was members of Congress government or foreign countries which first alleged corruption in cases like Bofors deal or AgustaWestland chopper purchase,” Trivedi said at a press conference.

He said those levelling allegations should first hear defence experts and refrain from politicising such deals.

The BJP leader said the Congress-led governments never allowed defence production in the country so that it could strike “deals” with foreign suppliers.

“Now, they are levelling baseless allegations after the Modi government has started working towards domestic production,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Congress accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of “lying” on Reliance Defence Limited, which it said didn’t have the experience in manufacturing fighter jets, having secured an offset contract from Dassault Aviation for Rs.30,000 crore and a consequent ‘Lifecycle Cost Contract of Rs. 1 lakh crore in the Rafale deal.

Stressing that national interest was being compromised by the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, Congress demanded that Modi must “break his silence over whether he represented the interest of private companies and industrial houses.”

IANS