New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Narendra Modi-led government of India has refused to divulge the cost-per-unit of the 36 Rafale fighter jets it is buying from France. When attacked by the opposition over the allegedly "exorbitant" outlay for the purchase, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharama told the Parliament that the details of the deal could not be divulged as it is "classified information."
"As per Article-10 of the Inter-Governmental Agreement between Government of India and Government of France on the purchase of Rafale aircraft, the protection of the classified information and material exchanged under the Inter-Governmental Agreement is governed by the provisions of the Security Agreement signed between the two nations in 2008," Sitharaman has claimed in her written response to the query.
Modi Govt wants political parties protected from prosecution for accepting foreign money.— Saikat Datta (@saikatd) February 5, 2018
Now Modi govt refuses to share details of cost of #Rafale aircraft bought by Indian tax payer's money pic.twitter.com/giYxKOMyw1
Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has alleged that the deal smells of a huge scam and that Prime Minister Modi has tweaked the specifics of the deal to benefit "a businessman."
Congress alleges ‘huge scam’ in Rafale deal, accuses Modi govt of compromising ‘National Security’ https://t.co/rA9AQuH5Sb— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) February 6, 2018
The India-France inter-governmental agreement on the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets for the Indian armed forces has been shrouded in controversy ever since it was signed on September 26, 2016 — two-and-a-half years after the Bharatiya Janta Party came to power. The earlier government led by the Congress Party had entered into a similar agreement with France to purchase 126 Rafale jets, but the deal did not come through as the party was voted out of power before the price of the fighter jets could be finalized.
This is a scam being covered under the garb of secrecy pact! Didn't Def Min in her press conf promise she would share the price at which jets were bought and the deal was sealed?
National Security has become the last refuge of the dishonest. https://t.co/xytrSK6wpb
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) February 6, 2018
Defence minister can't share details of Rafale deal with Parliament. Is she saying that our Parliament is not sovereign? Or has Modi got something to hide?— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) February 6, 2018