An inter-governmental agreement with France called as ‘Rafale deal’ in which Indian Airforce (IAF) is planned buy fighter jets from France.
The negotiations to buy fighter jets began in UPA regime in 2012, the agreement was made to buy 126 fighter jets
However, during the pressing needs of Indian Air force (IAF), buying 126 fighter jets seemed expensive, so the BJP government re negotiated the whole agreement and decided to buy just 36 off the shelf ready to fly Rafale
fighter jets for the price 58000 crores INR, i.e. 7.8 billion Euros.
Congress accused the ruling BJP of non-transparency in the multi-billion dollar deal and called it “one of the biggest failures” of the ‘Make-in-India’ programme
In November 2016, however, a political warfare over the Rafale deal began and the Congress accused the government of causing “insurmountable loss” of taxpayers’ money by signing the deal worth Rs. 58,000 crores. It also claimed that the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence Limited had been unfairly picked to be the French firm’s Indian partner. The Congress alleged that the cost of each aircraft is three times more than what the previous UPA had negotiated with France in 2012.
The claims were rebutted by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence Limited with the government saying that the renegotiated deal was transparent and better than the deal negotiated by the previous UPA government as it includes a superior weapons package and logistical support, which had been absent in the previous one. Reliance Defence had also said that its subsidiary Reliance Aerostructure and Dassault Aviation formed a joint venture – Dassault Reliance Aerospace, after a bilateral agreement between two private companies and “the Indian government has no role to play in this.”
Further The Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Parliament earlier this week that the details of the deal with France for the Rafale fighter jets cannot be disclosed as per the inter-governmental agreement as it is “classified information” under confidentiality
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, accused the Congress party saying that seeking details of weaponry purchased is “seriously compromising” country’s security He also advised Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to “learn” from former Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee “lessons on national security”
Today, Air force Chief BS Dhanoa said that “India facing Grave Threat Rafale will enhance combat capabilities”