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News18 Rising India Summit | Probe as Much as You Want, Won’t Find a Scam in Rafale Deal: Nirmala Sitharaman

“What is the point of someone talking about ‘our price’ and ‘your price’ when you didn’t buy anything eventually?” she retorted, adding that their (opposition) sense of emergency only prevailed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi went ahead with an expression of intent.

News18.com

Updated:March 18, 2018, 8:19 AM IST
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New Delhi: Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday quashed the Opposition’s allegations of a scam in the Rafale fighter jet deal and asserted that there was no need for a probe.

When quizzed if the ministry would be open to probe in the wake of the allegations, Sitharaman said that there was absolutely no necessity. “Probe?! What probe? You can look into the deal as much as you want, you will not find anything. There is no scam,” she said at the News18 Rising India Summit in the national capital.

The statement comes a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi trained his guns on the government over the deal, alleging that it had caused a loss of Rs 36,000 crore to the state exchequer even as the Army "begs" for more money.

He also alleged that Dassault Aviation, the French company that manufactured the fighter jets, had called the “lie” of “RM" (Raksha Mantri) Nirmala Sitharaman by releasing the price of the aircraft.

“What is the point of someone talking about ‘our price’ and ‘your price’ when you didn’t buy anything eventually?” she retorted, adding that their (opposition) sense of emergency only prevailed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi went ahead with an expression of intent.

The Congress has been demanding details of the deal, including cost of equipment and weapons, alleging that the deal negotiated under UPA was much cheaper than the contract signed by the Modi government.

On many occasions, the Congress had asked the government whether the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) clearance was taken before the PM announced about the procurement of the jets during his visit to Paris in April 2015.

“You (opposition) kept going to and fro. Even then the sense of emergency didn’t prevail. But now when PM Modi went first for an intent, you suddenly have an emergency,” the minister added. She further said that there was a lot of convenience-based argument that was being thrown around.

“Efforts gone to achieve this are being ignored. Their (opposition) job is to ask and we keep answering. There is no scam, you can probe as much as you want,” Sitharaman said.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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