New Delhi: Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the Lok Sabha over Rafale and launched a scathing attack on the Congress, saying that the party compromised national security and posed defence hurdles and is afraid of facts.

India will get the first Rafale aircraft in September 2019, the defence minister said. “The first Rafale aircraft will be delivered in September 2019 and 36 aircraft will be delivered in the year 2022. The process of negotiation was finished in 14 months,” she said.

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How Modi govt demolished Rahul Gandhi’s Rafale lies in Parliament

  • China and Pakistan are building a bigger fleet. The UPA government wanted only 18 flyaway fighter jets. The UPA created a deadlock.
  • “There is a difference between defence dealings and dealing in defence. We don't do defence dealings. We deal in defence with national security as a priority.”
  • The Congress did not intend on buying the jets. For every 'AA', there's an 'RV', said Sitharaman, attacking Priyanka Gandhi's husband - Robert Vadra.
  • Emergency purchases are always two squadrons. In 1982, when Pakistan was buying F-16s, the Indian government then decided to buy two squadrons of MiG-23 MF from the erstwhile Soviet Union; in '85 again two squadrons of Mirage 2000 bought from France and in '87- two squadrons of MiG-29.
  • “This was an emergency purchase but the Congress government is misleading the nation even on that. They are saying that the number of aircraft have come down from 126 to 36 but they should compare these 36 with the initial 18 flyaway aircraft they were planning to buy. The remaining 108 were out of the question because HAL could not reach an agreement to manufacture them in the first place,” she said.
  • The Congress is under fire because Christian Michel is in India. “Why did they use Christian Michel to procure AgustaWestland choppers? Is it because HAL was not giving you anything else apart from the helicopters?” Sitharaman asked.
  • You stopped the deal, forgetting that the Air Force was suffering because it didn't suit you. The deal didn't get you money: Sitharaman to Congress.
  • "We were told by Congress spokesperson that we shall not be talking on Rafale because it’s an internal matter. On March 9, before Rahul Gandhi met French President Macron, Congress spokesperson told the media: Congress will not discuss India's defence deals with a foreign head of state. This is an internal matter. This discussion the government has to do with France, not us."
  • "However, On July 20 in the Parliament, Rahul Gandhi says: 'I asked the French President about the secrecy pact but he denied the existence of such a pact. He said he has no issues in making the cost public.' Who is truthful here? The Congress spokesperson or Rahul Gandhi?"
  • Rahul Gandhi on 20 July in Parliament said, "I asked the French President about this secrecy pact but he denied its existence. He also told me that he has no issues in making the cost public." Who is truthful? One of them is misleading the country. I want proof of this: Sitharaman
  • There is inconsistency in Congress pricing; no documentary evidence on Rafale for Rs 526 cr for one jet.
  • The Congress is building the whole thing on falsehoods. One Congress leader also called the IAF chief a liar, the defence minister said.
  • Sitharaman cited the Supreme Court verdict on Rafale, saying that the perception of an individual can’t be the basis of inquiry. The SC said it finds no reason for any intervention and that the issue of price will not be gone into by the court.
  • The Congress’s aircraft would have cost Rs 737 crore. Our price is Rs 670 crore. Our price is 9% less: Sitharaman on why government’s deal is much better than the Congress’s "non-deal".
  • “We obtained an additional guarantee for the three most used aircraft. These three aircraft will be used for training. The terms that we have got are much better in all aspects - delivery, price, maintenance,” said Sitharaman.
  • Sitharaman said that Rahul Gandhi also lied on the Macron meeting.
  • The CAG is conducting the performance audit of capital acquisitions of air systems, including the acquisition of 36 Rafale jets. The complete draft audit report was received by the defence minister in December. The response for the same is being framed: Sitharaman.