Can’t Compromise National Security: Arun Jaitley on Rafale Deal

Following huge backlash from the Opposition over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence over the purchase of Rafale fighter planes from France, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha on 8 February, Thursday, said that national security will be compromised if details of the deal are revealed.

"Details of the Rafale deal cannot be disclosed as it is confidential defence information. Price details of Rafale deal would let enemy know about our weapon system." - Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister

Jaitley further hit out at the Opposition leaders saying United Progressive Alliance (UPA)'s new strategy is to manufacture corruption charges.

The finance minister was responding to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s allegations of discrepancies in the Rafale deal. On Wednesday, after PM Modi’s speech in Lok Sabha, Gandhi had said, “When will he finally speak on the Rafale deal?"

Also Read: Rahul Questions PM’s Silence on Rafale Deal in his LS Speech

Jaitley further defended the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government saying that even the UPA did not reveal defence deals’ secrets.

"Pranab Mukherjee refused to disclose weapons purchased from the US; AK Anthony refused to disclose details on weapons purchased from Israel. Secrecy is an inherent part of any deal." - Arun Jaitley

There was a huge ruckus in the Lower House following Jaitley’s statements leading to its adjournment for the day.

Something is Fishy, Alleges Rahul Gandhi

Outside the Parliament, the Congress President continued his allegations on discrepancies in the Rafale deal.

"Earlier, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said she will reveal the Rafale aircraft prices. Now the finance minister is saying it is a State secret. Why did they change the stance and which statement is true? Something is fishy about this whole deal."

Gandhi added that he wanted to ask these questions in the Parliament but the Speaker adjourned it.

"We just want to know, did you yourself change the deal? Did you give more money or less? And did you take the permission from the Cabinet committee or not?" he asked. "The questions are very simple, but we are not getting any answers," he said

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