New Delhi (Sputnik) — Accusing the opposition of distorting his remarks that the country was "feeling the absence of the Rafale jets" during the recent aerial engagement with Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called on the opposition to use their "common sense".
"What I said was, if we had Rafale at the time (of the aerial dogfight), then none of our fighter jets would have gone down and none of their's saved", Prime Minister Modi said at a public rally in Rajasthan.
Modi was referring to the comments made by Congress President Rahul Gandhi implying that it was Modi who was responsible for a delay in the induction of Rafale fighters into the Indian Air Force.
"Dear PM, have you no shame at all? You stole 30,000 crores and gave it to your friend Anil (Ambani). YOU are solely responsible for the delay in the arrival of the Rafale jets. YOU are WHY brave IAF pilots like Wing Cdr. Abhinandan, are risking their lives flying outdated jets", Mr Gandhi tweeted.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 2, 2019
Rahul Gandhi's tweet was in response to Modi's earlier remarks that the Congress' opposition to the 36-aircraft deal with France had led to a delay in delivery of the fighter jets that left the Indian Air Force in the lurch during last week's confrontation with Pakistan over the air strikes on alleged Jaish-e Mohammad camps in Balakot.
Meanwhile, on Monday the IAF stated that it will induct the French-made Rafale fighter jet from September this year. Indian opposition leaders have been alleging major corruption in the $8.7 billion deal for purchase of 36 fighter jet for the Indian Air Force that was signed in 2016 under government-to-government negotiation.