Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman came out swinging at the opposition in the Lok Sabha on Friday on the controversy over the Rafale deal. She accused the opposition of politicking over the deal without regard to the national security implications. She also blamed the Congress of failing to finalise the deal to purchase of fighter aircraft.
"It is very disheartening. This country needs to know that defence purchases are national security related and very important, whether they are in power or we are," Nirmala said. "We have had wars in northern and western frontiers. Timely purchase equipment should be the priority. We have to recognise the sense of urgency," she added.
She also accused the Congress of failing to clinch the deal for the purchase of the Dassault Rafale fighter jets, and alleged that corruption in defence acquisitions by the Congress was the reason for this. "There is a difference between defence dealings and dealing in defence. We don't do defence dealings. We deal in defence with national security as a priority… Congress did not intend buying the jets. For every 'AA' there is a 'Q' and 'RV'," she said, in a reference to the Bofors scam.