Congress’s charge on Rafale deal politically motivated: Sitharaman

New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday rejected the Congress’s charges on the 36 Rafale aircraft deal with France calling it “politically motivated” and asserted that it was clinched at a cost “lesser” than what it would have been under the previous UPA regime.
She also questioned why the UPA government could not conclude the deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets during their tenure.
Sitharaman told reporters here that the NDA government went for the purchase as an “emergency” procurement.
She said the deal that India has got for the 36 Rafale jets is “far better” than what the UPA “would have obtained for 126”.
Asked if it meant the price under the current government-to-government deal is lesser, she said “absolutely”.
“The price we arrived at is lesser,” she said.
No figures on the price were, however, given by the Minister.
She also said that the deal was signed after approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security and all processes were duly followed.
Responding to charges levied by the opposition party, she also said that a “Transfer of Technology” was not sought in this deal as it was not viable and it could have escalated the price.
“The allegations are politically motivated since they are not able to find any corruption in this government,” Sitharaman said.