Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Opposition parties trying to sabotage Rafale deal, says Nirmala Sitharaman

ANI | Updated: Jan 20, 2019 14:14 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 19 (ANI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday attacked the opposition parties for allegedly trying to sabotage the high profile Rafale combat aircraft deal questioning whether these parties were becoming pawns in the hands of international corporate rivals.
Addressing a seminar on 'India's strategic interest in the context of the Rafale deal," the Defence Minister said the aim of the opposition seems to be to stop the deal from happening which would be a big disservice to the nation.
"I want this debate on Rafale deal without any of us playing in the hands of international corporate warfare. None of us should become a party to any corporate warfare. We cannot become pawns in the hands of the corporate giants' warfare to question the government and throw misinformation to the public," she said.
The Defence Minister attacked the opposition for abusing the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa for defending the capabilities of the Rafale combat aircraft.
"The Air Force Chief had just said that the Rafale aircraft is a good aircraft and just because of that opposition leaders started calling him a liar," said Sitharaman.
When asked about the attacks on military officers who were part of the deal, Sitharaman said that this was the double irony that the Congress was attacking "our deal" which was done by the Air Force officers for meeting the requirements of their service."
Air Marshal RK Bhadauria was the head of the Indian negotiating team which had completed the deal for the Central government.
The Defence Minister pointed out that in view of the volatile border that India has and the fact that it has fought four wars, the country's strategic interests should be kept in mind.
Reacting to the sudden cancellation of the 126 combat aircraft deal, the minister explained that the previous deal had to be scrapped because the Congress had not completed it and the country had to take emergency decisions to meet the requirements of the Air Force. (ANI)