Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on tuesday alleged that that the Congress led UPA government excluded Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) from the Rafale deal and it was under the UPA government that the public sector firm could not agree on the production terms with Dassault Aviation .
Sitharaman said “Deal didn’t happen during UPA. What also didn’t happen during UPA was that between HAL and Dassault Aviation couldn’t go together. Doesn’t that very clearly say who didn’t go together with HAL, under which govt did that happen?”.
Earlier today, A K Antony former defence minister slammed Sitharaman on her claim that state-run HAL did not have the required capabilities for production of jets in India.
“We don’t know what her intentions were in ridiculing a public sector undertakin under her own ministry,” said former defence minister AK Anthony.
Responding to questions on the Congress’s allegations, the Sitharaman said, “We have responded saying your basic price and the basic price that I am getting at, when compared with all the escalation and other things, is 9 per cent cheaper”.
“The ideal squadron strength is 42, it has been coming down. So, when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi assessed the situation, (we figured) it was our duty to get the Rafale,” said the defence minister.
(Featured image:The Hindu)