Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday took only a few minutes to flatten Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s serious allegations that the minister was lying that the price of Rafale fighter jets cannot be disclosed due to a pact with France. The Congress president even dragged the name of French president Emanuel Macron into the debate for making his point and said there was a secrecy pact between the Indian and French governments.


Speaking on the no-confidence motion moved by the TDP, the Amethi MP said that when he met Macron in New Delhi, the French president had told him that there was no such pact. "The defence minister lied to the country. Whom is she trying to protect? She must tell that to the country. She has spoken an untruth," Rahul said.

He said everybody understands the relationship Modi has with some business people. "One of them was given the Rafale contract and the gentleman benefited with Rs 45,000 crore," he said, and added that public sector helicopter unit Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was denied an opportunity. "Why this contract was taken away from HAL? PM must explain. PM has not been truthful," Rahul said. 

Soon after, the defence minister responded to the allegations and waved a copy of the agreement signed with the French government by the then defence minister of the Congress government, AK Antony. According to that agreement, all details, like the price of defence hardware, cannot be revealed by either side.

She also said that the same thing was mentioned by the French president in an interview to a private television channel a few months ago before commencing his visit to India.

BJP MP from Chandigarh and actor Kirron Kher also ridiculed the Congress president for his claims that he had a word with the French president, saying that Sitharaman has proved that the Congress president was not stating the facts.

“The French president could have said that your kurta pyjama is good or something to that effect. He can join Bollywood as the next step after brushing up his acting skills further,” she said.