To blunt Rahul Gandhi attacks, government may reveal Rafale deal details before nation

First Published 24, Jul 2018, 12:11 PM IST
To blunt Rahul Gandhi attacks, Modi government may reveal Rafale deal details before nation
Highlights

The confusion over whether the deal’s price can be disclosed or not had arisen soon after a Defence Ministry press conference was held when Rahul Gandhi had for the first time levelled charges of wrongdoings in the 36-plane contract

With the Congress intensifying attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, the Union government is now considering revealing all the details of the 36 combat aircraft pact worth Euro 7.8 billion to defuse the allegations of a scam by Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress, which has been trying to stick the allegations of a scam on the Prime Minister as its main poll plank for the 2019 general elections, had yesterday held a press conference led by former Defence Minister AK Antony.

In the press conference, a group of Congress leaders alleged that the government claim about a secrecy clause in the pact forcing it not to reveal price details of the deal was "totally wrong" and released parliamentary written answers where the NDA government on two occasions had stated the per unit price of the planes.

“The price of the contract has already been disclosed twice and there is nothing to hide in the contract for us. We are considering if there is a way we can provide all details about the contract to the country so that there is no doubt left among people about the highest level of transparency in the pact,” sources in the government told MyNation.

Top functionaries in the government including the Prime Minister’s Office are involved in dealing with the issue along with the Defence Ministry and are now confident that the issue would not be allowed to be turned into a political weapon for the Congress in the general elections, sources said.

The price of the Rafale planes had already been revealed twice by Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, as per the information provided by the Defence Ministry department that looks after the operations and other day-to-day functioning of the Air Force and not the acquisition wing of the ministry which deals with foreign governments for procurement.

The confusion over whether the deal’s price can be disclosed or not had arisen soon after a Defence Ministry press conference was held when Rahul Gandhi had for the first time levelled charges of wrongdoings in the 36-plane contract.

The issue has been dragging on for three continuous Parliament sessions now and the main opposition party is now thinking of making it the biggest issue in the next polls.

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