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Rafale deal: Shameful that PM Modi is silencing you, Rahul tells Minister Sitharaman

NEW DELHI: It's shameful that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is silencing Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet about the controversial Rafale deal.

The tweet, in which Rahul addressed Sitharaman directly, contained three specific questions.

The Congress has accused the government of having compromised national interest and security while promoting "crony capitalism" and causing a loss to the public exchequer in purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France

Nirmala Sitharaman said the decision to make an emergency purchase was made due to an urgent requirement for Indian Air Force. She said "all procedures had been followed".

The Congress has alleged that the government neglected the interests of public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale aircraft, refused to transfer technology to it and instead entered into an agreement with Reliance Defence.

The party has also alleged that the aircraft was being purchased at much higher rates than what was decided after the completion of the tender process under the previous UPA government.

The BJP has rubbished the allegation, claiming it was intended to "divert attention" as the party bigwigs faced the prospect of being questioned in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scandal.
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