Sitharaman reiterates no corruption in Rafale deal, calls Bofors a scam
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday dismissed all allegations of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal and hit back at Congress saying while Bofors deal was a scam, the Rafale deal was in national interest which would bring Narendra Modi back as Prime Minister.
"Bofors was a scam, but Rafale was a decision taken in national interest. Rafale will bring back Modi to build a new India and remove corruption," she said in a reply lasting over two-and-a-half hours in the Lok Sabha to a debate on the deal with French manufacturer Dassault.
The Minister said there was a difference between defence dealings and dealing in defence. "We deal in defence with national security as a priority," she said. She said the first Rafale fighter jet will be delivered in September this year and the remaining 35 aircraft will be delivered by 2022.
Sitharaman also accused the Congress of shedding crocodile tears for HAL. "Congress government gave 53 waivers to HAL while we have given contracts worth Rs 1 lakh crore," she said.
(With inputs from agencies.)