Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Visits Rafale Factory in Paris; Narendra Modi Government Calls Rahul Gandhi 'A Serial Liar'
Rafale Jet (Photo Credits: www.dassaultaviation.com)

Paris, October 12: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the facility where Rafale jets are being produced on Friday during her three-day visit to France. She took stock if the progress in the supply of 36 Rafale jets by Dassault Aviation. The Defence Minister on Wednesday embarked on the three-day visit to strengthen defence ties with France. Meanwhile, the central government today launched a fresh salvo on the Congress for alleging corruption in the deal.

The Railways Minister Piyush Goyal while replying to Congress Chief’s Rahul Gandhi’s fresh allegation over the deal, called him a serial liar. Goyal said, “We have off late been experiencing the activities of a serial liar. Only an issue-less man can repeat a lie again and again. Even if a lie is repeated 100 times, it can never substitute the truth.” The railways minister also claimed that the Modi government negotiated a better deal as compared to the deal negotiated by previous United Progress Alliance (UPA) government. Goyal said, “The Govt negotiated terms which are far better than what was agreed by UPA in 2007 & 2012. We have gotten faster delivery, longer maintenance tenure, better availability of spare parts and much-needed defence capabilities.”

Yesterday, Sitharaman held wide-ranging talks with her French counterpart Florence Parly. Both the leaders discussed the ways to deepen strategic and defence cooperation between the two countries. The talks were held under the framework of the annual Indo-French defence ministerial dialogue which was agreed to during the summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron in March, during the latter’s visit to India. Rafale Deal: Rahul Gandhi Led Congress To Constitute Team To Hold Nationwide Press Conferences Over The Deal

According to sources, Sitharaman and Parly held a one-on-one meeting followed by delegation level talks, covering a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interests. Rumours are rife that Sitharam will also meet macron during this visit. France is also pitching India to purchase the second batch of 36 Rafale jets, but there is no official confirmation regarding this.

The Modi government is being attacked by opposition parties alleging corruption in the Rafale deal. The deal was signed in September, 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets in ‘ready to fly’ condition scrapping the earlier deal proposed by the UPA government. The UPA during its regime proposed a deal to purchase 126 jets, out of which 108 jets were to be produced in India, but it failed to conclude the deal before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014.