Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at an event in Trident Hotel, Mumbai, said, "The Congress party is making baseless allegations despite knowing all the facts". We have not ducked any questions on Rafale. Congress is simply misleading the people of this country by raising such questions."
"All the questions raised by opposition parties on Rafale deal has been answered. The opposition has asked questions and we have not ducked to any questions and therefore they are going on with creating some new issues the relevance of which is a question".
Sitharaman was questioned by Max Rodenbeck on an alleged scam in the Rafale deal, Sitharaman said:
"Defence procurement have remained too complicated, complex, time-consuming and therefore because they are not very black-and-white, they can remain opaque. As a result of which suspicion creeps into the minds of people. What have we done since our government has come into power? On our prime minister's insistence, we have kept the processes transparent, cutting out everything that is discretionary, driving it from policy rather than from personal interest, we have bought in greater transparency in the system. For India to be strong, it needs the kind of equipment that keeps its armed forces at a level of preparedness, which is necessary."
The India Summit 2018, whose subject this year was “States of the nation”, witnessed politicians cutting across party lines; business leaders speak on the role of individual states in driving the national economy and social agenda. The event, which began at 9.30 am at Trident Nariman Point in Mumbai, saw Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman address on how the Centre and State governments could coordinate in strengthening the nation’s security parameters.
Speaking at the Summit, Sitharaman said that:
"The Narendra Modi-led government had in fact brought in more transparency in defence procurement".