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Government will fight perception battle over Rafale row: Sitharaman

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Wednesday said the government will fight the "perception battle" over the Rafale deal by putting facts before the masses to counter the Congress' "false propaganda".

She also alleged an "international dimension" to Congress, president, Rahul Gandhi's relentless allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal but did not elaborate.

"I, others will go around the country to put facts before the public. It is a matter of perception battle," she told reporters.

She also rejected the Congress' charge that the Modi government had undermined the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, saying the HAL on an average got annual orders worth over Rs 10,000 crore during the 10-year UPA rule against annual orders of around Rs 22,000 crore given by the current dispensation so far.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has alleged that former French President Francois Hollande is part of the nexus to sabotage the deal to purchase fighter aircraft, with Gandhi doing "conspiracy, internationally".



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