Govt using military brass to defend Rafale scam: Shourie, Sinha, Bhushan

NEW DELHI: The NDA Government is using men and women in uniform to defend the Rafale deal, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is personally “culpable” in the scam, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan alleged Tuesday.

The trio, at a press conference here, stepped up their attack on the Prime Minister, alleging that he “compromised” national security by reducing the number of the jets to 36 from the original proposal of 126 aircraft.

Referring to Vice Chief of Indian Air Force Air Marshal S B Deo’s recent comments on Rafale, they said after being “totally exposed”, the Government is now using the senior military brass to defend the deal.

The opposition led by the Congress has been alleging massive irregularities in the deal, claiming that the Government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,600 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA Government. The Government has rejected the charges.

Noting that that senior Air Force officials had made statements as to how Rafale is a “beautiful aircraft”, Shourie, Sinha and Bhushan said they agreed with his views but wondered why Modi had reduced the number of aircraft from 126 to just 36, “disregarding” IAF’s strategic needs. (AGENCIES)