Hours after Rahul Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi favoured Anil Ambani in the Rafale deal, BJP termed the Gandhi family corrupt. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the Congress chief is spreading misinformation on Rafale and compromising national security.

Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has raised questions over the timing and purpose of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s France visit. The Congress chief on Wednesday alleged that Sitharaman’s visit to France amid the uproar over Rafale fighter jet deal puts a question mark on the government’s action and it could be the beginning of a process to justify Prime Minister’s decision to buy the French aircraft.

On Wednesday, French website Mediapart reported that Dassault Aviation agreed to enter into a joint venture with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as it was presented as a ‘trade-off’ if the defence major were to bag the 36 Rafale jet deal.

Sitharaman’s three-day visit to France comes in the backdrop of a huge controversy over the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.

Officials sources said Sitharaman will hold wide-ranging talks with her French counterpart Florence Parly on ways to deepen strategic cooperation between the two countries and also deliberate on major regional and global issues of mutual interests.

They said Sitharaman will also take stock of progress in the supply of the jets by Dassault to the Indian Air Force under a Rs 58,000 crore deal.

There was indication that she may even visit the facility where the jets are being manufactured.
In their talks, Sitharaman and Parly are expected to deliberate on joint production of military platforms and weapons by the two countries.

Earlier this year, France was pitching for starting negotiations for procurement of another batch of 36 Rafale jets by India. However, New Delhi was not keen on pursuing it.

Meanwhile, the Congress closely monitoring the development and likely address the media at 1 pm over the controversial Rafale deal.

 

Highlights

Press Conference by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra

BJP went all out against Congress President Rahul Gandhi, calling him a 'clown prince'.

BJP attacks Congress

While Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa has endorsed Rafale, Rahul Gandhi finds fault in it, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra quipped.

BJP goes all out against Congress

Hours after Rahul Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi favoured Anil Ambani in the Rafale deal, BJP termed the Gandhi family corrupt. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the Congress chief is spreading misinformation on Rafale and compromising national security.

Nirmala Sitharaman to visit Rafale production unit tomorrow

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will visit Rafale production unit in France on Friday. According to media reports, her visit was planned in March. Both sides are expected to deliberate on further boosting their already close defence and security ties.

Rahul Gandhi said since Dassault is sitting on a huge contract, it will say what the Indian government wants it to say. Their internal document clearly stated that PM Modi has said without this compensation the deal will not be done

Why has suddenly Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rushed to France to Rafale's plant? What is the emergency? questions Rahul Gandhi

Addressing the media in New Delhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the Rafale deal is a clear cut case of corruption because former French president Francois Hollande had revealed that PM Narendra Modi had told them that Reliance should get a deal and now a senior official of Rafale has said the same.

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