Uttam smells scam in Rafale deal

Uttam smells scam in Rafale deal
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Highlights

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy lashed out at the BJP government alleging that has indulged in a scam of over Rs 41,000 crore in purchase of Rafale fighter aircrafts

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N Uttam Kumar Reddy lashed out at the BJP government alleging that has indulged in a scam of over Rs 41,000 crore in purchase of Rafale fighter aircrafts.

Addressing the media at Gandhi Bhavan here on Wednesday, Uttam said he was an IAF fighter pilot for several years flying MIG 21 and MIG 23 and served on China and Pakistan borders in Kashmir, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Assam and Siachin Glacier. He said he can say the behaviour of the BJP government at the Centre with regard to Rafale fighter aircraft was suspicious.

Expressing surprise over Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman’s statements that the price of the aircraft was a secret, the TPCC chief said the operational details like weapons carried on aircraft, radar range and weapons' range could be a secret, but not the price of the aircraft. “Never after independence has the purchase price been kept secret,” he said.

“Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was bypassed in Rs 36,000 crore offset contract and it was awarded to Anil Ambani’s company with zero experience of manufacturing fighter aircraft,” he said, adding that the ‘Agreement between India and French Republic concerning the protection of classified information and material in the field of defence’, signed between the two countries on January 25, 2008, during the Congress-UPA, does not mention that commercial cost of procurement of defence deals cannot be revealed.

On March 8, 2018, in an interview to a prominent news channel, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that if the Modi government wanted to disclose some of the details, it could do so, Uttam Kumar said, adding that the agreement between India and France concerning the protection of Classified Information and Material in the Field of Defence’ signed during the Congress-UPA regime did not mention that ‘commercial cost’ of procurement of defence deals could not be revealed. AICC Telangana in-charge RC Khuntia and other senior leaders were also present.

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