Rafale Deal: Ten Difficult Questions Congress asks the BJP on Rafale Deal

Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Minister of Armed Forces of France, Florence Parly at the 1st Ministerial meeting of the bilateral Annual Defence Dialogue between India and France in Paris on 11th Oct 2018 (Photo: Twitter)

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on behalf of his party Indian National Congress asked the current Defence Minsiter Nirmala Sitharaman ten important but difficult questions on Saturday in a video tweet. He urged the defence minister to either answer the question to let India know about the truth or order a probe in Rafale deal.

Ten questions he has asked are:

Question 1: Why did the Government of India decide to cancel the earlier deal and enter into a new agreement?

Question 2: If the demand was for seven or more squadrons why did the NDA government cancel the earlier deal for seven squadrons and decided to buy only two squadrons?

Question 3: Why did the price increase by three times?

Question 4: If the price negotiated by the NDA government is cheaper then why are you not buying all the one hundred twenty six aircrafts offered by Dassault? Why only 36 aircrafts?

Question 5: According to the NDA government, this was an emergency purchase, if the first aircraft will be delivered only 4 years after the agreement. how does it qualify as an emergency purchase?

Question 6: The former French President says the Govt Of India suggested the name of a private sector company as the offset partner, but the question we would like to ask is did the government suggest the name of a company as an offset partner? if it did not suggest any name why did it not suggest the name of HAL?

Question 7: Why did you cancel or scrap the agreement to transfer technology to HAL?

Question 8: The Defence Minister continues to maintain she does not know if Dassault has chosen an offset partner. The facts are on the 27 October of 2017, the French Defence Minister Ms Florence Parly formally met the Indian defence minister in New Delhi and they had talks and on the same day French Defence Minister flew to Nagpur in a place called Mihan near Nagpur at a function attended by Union Minsiter Gadkari, Chief Minsiter of Maharashtra Farnawis, France’s Ambassador to India and many others, she laid the foundation stone for the factory in which offset supply will be manufactured. How did the Indian Defence Minister say that she had no knowledge that Dassault has chosen an offset partner? Did not Ms Parly tell her when she met her, did he not read in the newspapers the next day?

Question 9: In the face of a joint press release, is the Defence Minister telling the truth that she is still not aware that Dassault has chosen a private sector company as an offset partner

Question 10: Why is the defence minsiter running down HAL, is the intention of the government to shut down or to privatise HAL?

“These are the ten questions. No answers are forthcoming to these questions and many more questions. These questions are more than sufficient to order an inquiry so that answers will be furnished to these ten questions and the People of India know the truth.” Senior Congress leader asked in his video tweet.

“We hope that the Defence Minister will either answer the questions or she will order an inquiry,” he added.

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