Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman has lied on Rafale issue and she “must resign”.
“The RM (Rafale Minister) tasked with defending corruption has been caught lying again. The former HAL Chief, T S Raju, has nailed her lie, that HAL didn’t have the capability to build the RAFALE. Her position is untenable & she must resign,” tweeted Gandhi.
It is pertinent to mention here that on last Thursday Sitharaman said that under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the negotiations for procurement of 126 Rafale jets failed as state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) did not have the needed capability to produce the jets in India in collaboration with French company Dassault Aviation.
“Dassault could not progress in the negotiations with HAL because if the aircraft were to be produced in India, a guarantee for the product to be produced was to be given. It is a big-ticket item and the IAF would want the guarantee for the jets. HAL was in no position to give the guarantee,” PTI quoted Sitharaman, as saying.
Sitharaman said the UPA deal collapsed as HAL did not have the capability to produce 108 aircraft in India.
“Even during negotiation with HAL, Dassault felt that the cost with which the HAL will produce will be far higher than the aircraft produced in France. That was the reality,” she further said.