Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaking at the Parliament on Friday
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaking at the Parliament on Friday

BJP praises Sitharaman for demolishing 'campaign of calumny on Rafale'

ANI | Updated: Jan 04, 2019 22:03 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 4 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Friday praised Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for 'completely demolishing Congress party's lies' on Rafale fighter jet deal in the Lok Sabha.
"A LIE goes only so far and no further. Defence Minister has completely demolished Congress party's lies and misinformation campaign on Rafale with her excellent speech loaded with facts. I congratulate her for bringing the truth to the nation," Shah tweeted.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also took on Twitter and applauded the Defence Minister for giving a great performance in the Parliament. "Well done! Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji, for an outstanding performance. You demolished the fake campaign. We are all proud of your performance," Jaitley wrote.
Surprisingly, not only Shah and Jaitley, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi was highly impressed with Sitharaman's speech as he shared the link of the same and wrote on Twitter, "Defence Minister @nsitharaman's speech in the Parliament demolishes the campaign of calumny on Rafale. Must watch!"
However, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that the Defence Minister ran away from his question and didn't answer what he asked on the Rafale deal.
Earlier in a day, while intensifying her attack on the Opposition, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the discussion on Rafale deal asked why the Congress did not add a single fighter jet during its 10 years governance.
The Defence Minister added that the Congress stopped the Rafale deal while forgetting that it would impact Indian Air Force.
"You have a commercial bid anywhere. After the bid is opened, will there be any interference? They (Congress) are now talking about interference from the PMO. This is interference? Because, somebody did not receive something somewhere? This is interference? You stopped the deal forgetting that the Air Force was suffering," Raksha Mantri said while adding that Rafale fighter jet deal was "a matter of national security".
"This is a matter of national security and in this forgetting the importance of having to buy it in time this is the kind of khilwad (joke) which was going on," she said.
The Defence Minister also reminded the Opposition that while India added no fighter aircraft, its hostile neighbours kept strengthening and enhancing their air power.
Lambasting the Congress party, during debate on Rafale fighter jet dealing in the Lower House, Sitharaman said that there is a difference between defence dealings and dealing in defence.
"We don't do defence dealings. We deal in defence with national security as a priority." the Defence Minister added.
Sitharaman said that the Congress gave 53 waivers to HAL, however, the Modi-government gave contracts worth Rs 1 lakh crore.
Sitharaman added that either the Congress party or the former French President was misleading the country on the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Sitharama said, "Rahul Gandhi on 20 July in the Parliament said, he had asked the French President about the secrecy pact but he denied its existence and `he (also told me that he has no issues in making the cost public'."
The Defence Minister further said a Congress spokesperson had earlier said the party will not discuss India's defence deals with a foreign head of state, this discussion the government has to do with France and not us.
Seeking for proof Sitharaman said, "Who is truthful? One of them is misleading the country."
On the Opposition uproar during the debate, Sitharaman said: "Senior members of the Opposition don't want to hear my answers. It is very disheartening. This country needs to know that defence purchases are national security-related and very important, whether they are in power or we are."
The Rafale jet deal controversy has been on the boil over the last few months. The Congress and other Opposition parties have been alleging irregularities in the high-profile deal for purchase of 36 fighter jets, which the ruling BJP has outrightly rejected. (ANI)