New Delhi, July 29: The Congress party on Wednesday welcomed the induction of the first batch of five Rafale fighter jets in the Indian Air Force (IAF), accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of a scam while negotiating the deal with France. The Congress said India would have got more Rafale aircraft in cheaper rates under the deal that the grand old party had finalised with France.

"The Congress Rafale purchase would have ensured India receives 126 jets instead of BJP's 36. 108 Rafale jets would have been Made in India. India would have received the Rafale jets by approx 2016. Cost of each Rafale jet would have been Rs. 526 crore," read a tweet by the official Twitter handle of the Congress. The reaction came moments after five Rafale jets landed at the Ambala Airbase in Haryana.

Under the current deal with France, a total of 36 jets comprising two squadrons will be part of the IAF over the course of the next two years. India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore, meaning New Delhi is spending over 1,000 crores for one plane. Amul Dedicates Doodle to Rafale Aircraft; Dairy Brand Releases Topical Ad 'Jab We Jet' Ahead of Arrival of Fighter Jets.

"We congratulate the Indian Air Force on receiving the Rafale jets. INC govt's labour in identifying & purchasing Rafale in 2012 have finally borne fruit. The stark difference between the Congress & BJP deal reveal the BJP's scam," the Congress also alleged.

Congress Welcomes Induction of Rafale Aircraft by IAF, Accuses BJP of Scam:

The five French-made Rafale fighter jets touched down at Haryana’s Ambala after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km to join the IAF. The five planes were flown by pilots of the 17 Golden Arrows led by Commanding Officer Group Captain Harkirat Singh along with other pilots, Wing Commanders MK Singh, R Kataria, Sidhu and Arun.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 29, 2020 04:03 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website