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Nirmala Sitharaman tears into Congress on the Rafale allegations

Jan 04, 2019 20:47 IST
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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman responded to the bitter debate in the Lok Sabha on the Rafale deal with a sharp counter-offensive. Taking on the Congress, Sitharaman blamed the party for spreading falsehood and ignoring national security concerns when it was in power. She alleged that “something did not suit them” which stalled signing of the deal with French aircraft manufacturer Dassault during the UPA rule. She also countered the allegation that the NDA government reduced the number of Rafale fighter jets to be purchased from France. “The UPA government wanted only 18 flyaway fighter jets. UPA created a deadlock,” she said, adding that the “new Rafale deal is for buying 36 fighter jets in flyaway condition.”