congress 'misinformation' on rafale 'impacting defence establishments' credibility: bjp

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The apex court Friday dismissed the pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets

The BJP on Tuesday attacked the Congress, saying its "misinformation" campaign on the Rafale deal was impacting the credibility of the defence establishments in the country.

Talking to reporters here, BJP national vice president and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe alleged that the Rahul Gandhi-led party was making a mountain out of a molehill.

"It is very unfortunate that (the act of) spreading this kind of information... Indulging in this kind of irresponsible allegation-mongering, is unfortunately impacting our defence establishments as well," he said.

Referring to Manohar Parrikar, who was a defence minister in the Modi government till last year before he returned to Goa as the chief minister, Sahasrabuddhe said defence establishments were being led by "unimpeachable" leaders like Parrikar.

"Unfortunately, the Congress party is very very irresponsibly indulging in this allegation-mongering... We find that the party is trying to build up some kind of courage out of confusion and concoction, which is reprehensible.

"We all condemn these attempts because they are ultimately impacting the credibility of the defence establishments as well," he said.

On Congress president Gandhi's attack on the Centre on the issue, Sahasrabuddhe said every act of commission and omission has its own impact on the national life, national discourse and national narrative.

"The impact of these irresponsible allegations which had no basis at all... and it has now been established by the Supreme Court itself through its verdict. So naturally, it amounts to some kind of irresponsibility and any irresponsible act impacts the interest of the nation," the BJP leader said.

To a question whether the Rafale deal could become an issue for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he said, "If Congress continues with its campaign through all kind of irresponsibility, then God only should save their attempts of creating a negative narrative."

Sahasrabuddhe said the Congress was not ready to accept the Supreme Court's verdict. "The court has unambiguously given its verdict. They have said they found nothing illegal, nothing suspicious about decision in purchase of fighter plane Rafale...also there is nothing commercial about the selection of partners," he said.

The apex court Friday dismissed the pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets saying there was no occasion to really doubt the decision making process warranting setting aside of the contract.

"The Congress is indulging in making a mountain out of a molehill. It has been trying to spread misinformation and misguide the people of the country," Sahasrabuddhe said.

According to the BJP leader, the demand for high-powered fighter planes existed in the Air Force for the last two decades.

"Our neighbouring countries, including Pakistan and China, are well-equipped with fighter planes. Therefore, the (Indian) Air Force has been asking for high capacity fighter planes since the last 20 years," he said.

"From 2008, the active process started in this regard initiated by the erstwhile government. But unfortunately, even five years later it did not attain finalisation," the BJP leader said.

"As far as negotiations are concerned, there were 74 meetings between both the governments (the Narendra Modi-led dispensation and France). The negotiations during the UPA were not at the government-to-government level, unlike that under the Modi-led government," Sahasrabuddhe said.

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