Amid corruption charges in the $8.7 billion Rafale deal, the Indian government has made partial payment of around $4 billion to France for 36 fighter jets that are to be inducted into the Indian Air Force starting September 2019. A government official told Sputnik that the government is undeterred by the opposition's fury and is making payments at agreed terms to France.
"We have made payment to the French side of over $4 billion as part of the terms and conditions agreed upon at the signing of the contract. The first Rafale jet is expected anytime by next September," a government official told Sputnik on Tuesday.
"The day an inquiry starts on Rafale, it is only a question of time that the PM (Modi) will go to jail. Nothing less," Rahul claimed.
The opposition figure also said that most likely an inquiry will start in France against the deal as former French President François Hollande had sparked a major row last month when he said that the French government had no say in choosing its Indian commercial partner for offset delivery in the deal.
Rahul Gandhi had questioned the visit of Indian defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman, earlier this month, to the production facility of French manufacturer Dassault Aviation where the Rafale jets to be supplied to India are being manufactured. Rahul Gandhi alleged that she visited France in a bid to cover up the wrongdoings in the deal.
Last week, the government filed the details of the decision-making process for the purchase of the Rafale before the Supreme Court of India on October 10 while hearing a petition.