Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that she will not share any information about the full price of aircraft fitted weaponry as it could be useful for countries like Pakistan and China and may harm the country.
“Information leaked about the weapon systems can ultimately help Pakistan and China,” Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharman said.
In a television show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’, Nirmala Sitharaman said that 36 Rafale fighter jets are purchased by the NDA government at 9 per cent cheaper price than the price negotiated by the previous UPA government from France.
Nirmala Sitharaman further added that opposition’s claims and accusations are false. She described the allegation made by the Congress that the approval of Cabinet Committee on Security was not taken for the Rafale deal as “white lie.”
“Saraasar jhoot hai (It’s a total lie). The PM visited Paris in 2015, where a memorandum of interest was signed. There was no need for CCS approval for this. Only after the prices were finalized, the Inter-Governmental Agreement was signed in September 2016, and the final approval of CCS was taken in August that year,” the Defence Minister said.
Making a counter-attack, Sitharaman asked “For whom is he (Rahul Gandhi) worried? By leaking information (about weapon systems fitted on Rafale aircraft), to whom is he trying to help? By demanding replies from us, who will ultimately benefit? This is what I am seriously asking. Is it Pakistan, or China? Those countries which keep an evil eye on us will benefit. Do we have to do this? I am sorry that the president of the oldest political party sitting in the opposition is demanding this.”