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    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the Swachh Kumbh Swachh Aabhaar event organized by Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation at Ganga pandal during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad on February 24, 2019

    Modi Lashes Out at Opposition After Rafale Jets Remark Amid Row With Pakistan

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    While Indian Prime Minister Modi has accused the Opposition of delaying the induction of Rafale fighter jets into the Indian Air Force by creating unnecessary controversy over the deal, opposition leader Rahul Gandhi said it was Modi who had delayed the induction for the benefit of his businessmen friends.

    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".

    READ MORE: France Denies Buying Rafale Fighter Jets at a Price Cheaper Than India

    "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 Abhinandan, are risking their lives flying outdated jets", Mr Gandhi tweeted.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'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.

    READ MORE: Indians Blast NYT for "Biased" Reporting on Aerial Dogfight Between MiG-21, F-16

    In the aerial clashes that erupted between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of a 14 February suicide attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy killing at least 40 soldiers, the Indian Air Force (IAF) shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet using its MiG-21 Bison on 27 February. Unfortunately, the MiG-21 Bison was also downed during the dogfight.

    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.

    Related:

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    French Defense Minister Set to Garner New Contract for Rafale Jets in India
    Rafale Deal Under Heavy Fire Ahead of French President's India Visit
    Rafale Deal Takes Center Stage in Intense Infighting in India’s Top Probe Agency
    Tags:
    opposition parties, delay, Fighter jet, Dassault Aviation, Indian Air Force, Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, India, Pakistan
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