Dragging French President’s name in internal politics ‘unfortunate’: RS Prasad

New Delhi: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that Rahul Gandhi should not have dragged French President Emmanuel Macron’s name into the matter of internal politics.

Prasad while addressing a press conference said, Gandhi has very poor understanding about national security issues.

“Rahul Gandhi is behaving irresponsibly. Dragging the French President into internal politics is unfortunate. His (Rahul) understanding of national security issues is poor,” Prasad said while addressing a press conference here.

“Since a member of the family has resorted to falsehood, the crowd around the family has no option but to collectively sing the tune of falsehood. We clearly state that Congress’s stand is not in national interest,” he added.

Further lashing out at the Congress, Prasad stated the pricing of Rafale is baseless, mischievous and also irresponsible.

Prasad further rubbished Congress’ allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman in this regard.

“The allegation leveled today that the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister misled the Parliament regarding the pricing of Rafale is baseless, mischievous and also irresponsible,” he said.

“On more than one occasion the Parliament has been informed about the price of aircraft. In fact the per aircraft price arrived at during the NDA Government under the aegis of the inter-governmental agreement stipulated better term than the one during UPA Government,” he added.

Prasad also asserted that NDA Government’s bid in the Rafale deal is nine per cent lesser than what was negotiated during UPA’s tenure.

“The UPA invited quotes for 126 aircrafts in 2007. The price quoted for Rafale was Euro 79.3 million which also had inbuilt escalation formula. When the bid was opened in 2011, the proposed cost in the bid document was 100.85 million euros per aircraft; however, this also could not be finalized. When in 2016, after NDA came to power, under the inter- government agreement the cost per aircraft finalized was 91.75 Million Euro. Therefore the price determined during NDA Government is nine per cent lesser than what was negotiated during UPA Government,” he further said.

During the No-Confidence Motion debate on July 20 in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi claimed that during the French President’s visit to India, the latter had denied the presence of a secrecy pact.

However, France retaliated saying an agreement had been inked to protect classified information in the light of security. (ANI)