Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke to Republic Media Network's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami in an exclusive interview, where he discussed a plethora of issues concerning the nation, including the politics revolving around Opposition's 'Rafale' attack.
The Congress-led opposition has been continuously attacking Narendra Modi government over the Rafale fighter aircraft deal both in Parliament and outside, to the extent that it is almost the Congress' main poll plank. However, when asked about recent revelations following the extradition of Christian Michel to India wherein it has been revealed that the Agusta middleman was also lobbying for the Eurofighter Typhoon despite Dassault's Rafale bid already having been selected, Prime Minister Modi said that 'Congress governments have used defence deals as ATMs'.
"In our country, defence deals have, in a sense, been an ATM for the previous government. All previous Congress governments have used these as ATMs. They can't even imagine that defence deals can happen with transparency and honesty. And until their own interest was served, they didn’t bother about the interest of the forces. My priority is to ensure that my nation’s forces are strong and capable. That is why I am taking quick decisions and will continue to do so in the future".
Furthermore, he stated that previous governments failed to take such major decisions as they 'had some sort of a mechanism to get their pots sweetened in some or other way'.
"It didn't happen because the earlier governments had in place, some sort of a mechanism to get their pots sweetened in some or other way. And this has happened in all cases – whether it be Navy, Army or Airforce – in every deal. I am trying to do these things with integrity through government to government contacts. I am trying to modernise the forces of this country through transparency. Second, it may so happen that results of make in India program may not come into effect that quickly. You may have seen that I have recently inaugurated a rifle manufacturing factory (In Amethi)".