Opposition Attacks Indian Government Over Rafale Fighter Jet Deal with France

Why is Indian Opposition Calling Rafale Fighter Jet Deal a Scam? Congress party’s new president Rahul Gandhi has questioned the government over maintaining secrecy regarding the Rafale Fighter Jet Deal with France. On Rafale Fighter Jet Deal – India Defense minister Nirmala Sitharam refused from divulging any details before the parliament saying that the details were classified information.

The Narendra Modi government has thus been slammed by the Gandhi party that termed the deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets as the ‘great Indian mystery’. Gandhi further went on to accuse the Modi government brewing a huge scam by not following the due procedures of the deal.

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Gandhi took to Twitter to jot down some ‘action points’ of the government saying that it becomes a matter of national security threat if the government informs the parliament about the price of the jets. He further went on to say that anyone who asks about the same would be branded anti-national The opposition has also accused Modi and the ruling BJP party of corruption in the case.

Rafale Fighter Jet Deal & How India Zeroed In On It

A Rafale jet is a twin-engine MMRC aircraft manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation. The ‘omni role’ aircrafts can perform a number of combat actions including interdiction, ground support, air supremacy, in-depth strike and nuclear deterrence. The original requirement of the Indian Air Force of 42 fighter squadron was washed down to 34 squadrons between 2000-2012 due to obsolescence. In 2000, the Indian administration had proposed to procure 125 Mirage-2000 aircraft which was later changed over to the procurement of 126 MMRCAs.

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The Request for Proposal issued in 2007 was later formally withdrawn in 2015 following which bids were made by six aircraft manufacturers. After thorough testing and analysis of all options and bids, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale were shortlisted by the IAF. The inter-government agreement between India and France for 36 Rafale fighters was finally signed in 2016.