Hours after India received its first batch of new combat-proven fighter aircraft in two decades with the arrival of five Rafale jets, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi posed three questions to the Centre on the purchase of the aircraft.
Congratulating the Indian Air Force (IAF) on the arrival of the fighter jets, Rahul, in a tweet asked why each aircraft cost ₹1,670 crore instead of ₹526 crore and why 36 aircraft were bought instead of 126. He also asked why was bankrupt Anil Ambani given a ₹30,000-crore contract instead of state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Congratulations to IAF for Rafale.
Meanwhile, can GOI answer:
1) Why each aircraft costs ₹1670 Crores instead of ₹526 Crores?
2) Why 36 aircraft were bought instead of 126?
3) Why was bankrupt Anil given a ₹30,000 Crores contract instead of HAL?
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 29, 2020
Rahul’s comments came after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the Rafale jets were purchased when they fully met the operational requirements of the IAF, referring to the Congress’ accusations of financial wrongdoings in sealing the deal. “The baseless allegations against this procurement have already been answered and settled,” he said.
In a veiled warning to China, amid the border row with the neighbouring country, Rajnath said if it was anyone who should be worried about or critical about this new capability of the Indian Air Force, it should be those who want to threaten our territorial integrity.
The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived at Ambala air force station on Wednesday (July 29) afternoon, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of ₹59,000 crore.
The Touchdown of Rafale at Ambala. pic.twitter.com/e3OFQa1bZY
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 29, 2020
“This aircraft has very good flying performance and its weapons, radar and other sensors and Electronic Warfare capabilities are amongst the best in the world. Its arrival in India will make the IAF much stronger to deter any threat that may be posed on our country,” the defence minister said in a series of tweets.