‘Congress doesn’t want a strong Air Force’: PM Modi slams oppn over Rafale
Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to the opposition’s allegations over Rafale deal during his reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks in the Lok Sabha.Updated: Feb 07, 2019 21:09 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the opposition over Rafale deal on Thursday during his reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks in the Lok Sabha. He said the Congress, which has used the Rafale deal to corner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government, “doesn’t want a strong Air Force”.
He said, “The Congress doesn’t’ want our Air Force to be strong…I am levelling this strong accusation and want to ask Congress in whose favour they want to scrap the Rafale deal? In which company’s favour are you playing this game and who are these people who have deployed you? For 30 years, you have kept the armed forces unarmed,” he said.
The prime minister’s response over Rafale deal comes in the wake of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s charge that an industrialist close to Modi was given undue favours in the inter-governmental defence agreement between India and France. Gandhi has accused PM Modi of corruption in Rafale deal.
“All accusations on Rafale deal have been answered by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Supreme Court has already studied all aspects of it. The Congress doesn’t want that our armed forces and Air Force are strengthened,” he said.
PM Modi further said, “I want to ask what was the reason that not a single new generation fighter plane was provided to our Air Force in the last 30 years.”
“When an honest deal is finally being signed, the Congress people are distressed…We are still committed to zero tolerance for corruption,” the prime minister said.
He further said, “Everyone in our neighbourhood is building war capabilities. Why didn’t we do it in all these years? This is criminal negligence.”
PM Modi also said the Congress is “spreading lies” about Rafale deal between India and France. “I wondered why they speak lies on Rafale with such confidence. Then I realised because they know in all their years in power there hasn’t been a single honest defence deal. Some mama, some chacha kept coming in,” the prime minister said.
He said, “The Congress insults Army, calls the Army chief a ‘goonda’ but they say Modi is destroying institutions.”
First Published: Feb 07, 2019 20:13 IST