Days after Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman set records straight on the Rafale deal in a tell-all interview with Republic TV, her party colleague and MoS (Independent) Information & Broadcast minister, Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, reiterated her claims and stated that the Congress party has no right to question BJP on the aircraft deal, given they failed to complete the deal during their tenure.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in the latest edition of the 'Nation Wants to Know', the MoS (Independent) Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports stated that the Modi government paid heed to the requests of the armed forces, and within months after coming to power, completed the Rafale deal.
"2007 onwards the armed forces especially the air force has been desperately seeking more aircrafts. Why are they seeking more aircrafts? Because China has 400 more aircrafts, and has added more squadrons. Indian Air force is lagging behind. All through, they started the process. They, which is the UPA, in its policy had the offset policy, which is quite correct. They started the procedure but could not acquire the aircraft till 2014, till the time we came to power," he said.
He then went onto take a dig at the Congress-led UPA, which has time and time again accused the present government of increasing the prices of the aircrafts and alleged corruption in the whole deal.
"They have failed. What is governance? Governance is the ability to keep the nation strong. They failed. What prices are they talking of? Prices that they did not buy the product on....They are quoting a price which they say 'we were buying at that price'. Did you buy, or you were quoting? Had you bought, we could have said you bought at this price and we bought at this price. But you (UPA) did not buy. You failed in governance, you also failed in negotiations with them. We acquired the aircrafts, it was needed," Col Rathore added.
Despite the ruling of Supreme Court on this matter, the Congress party has continued with its attack on the government. And Rathore took up this point while revealing 'no middleman' in the deal in itself proved there was no corruption.
"The matter went to SC and they said its processes are clear, it is clean. In all defence purchases till now, there used to be middleman. In this process, there is no middleman, it is govt to govt," he also mentioned.
(You can watch the full episode of Nation Wants to Know featuring MoS Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore with Republic TV's Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami at 9pm on Saturday and 11am, 7pm on Sunday)