The Rafale deal refuses to die, dominates politics and rocks the country. As several defence deals did in the past with the earlier governments, it might cast a cloud over the Bharatiya Janata Party and add to its worries. The Opposition seems determined to keep the row alive in the period from now to the next general election.
The government cannot claim that it has nothing to hide and hide behind ‘confidentiality’ at the same time, without raising eyebrows. It cannot invoke ‘confidentiality’ or ‘national security’ to keep the details of the deal under wraps and deny people their right to know how much of their money was spent on the purchase of the Rafale planes. The three-fold increase in the cost of the war planes within a short period of two-three years looks implausible. The cost difference between the price negotiated by the UPA government and the purchase price agreed to and paid by the NDA government is too staggering to wish away. It cannot be bridged or justified by additional accoutrements. The government should clear the air soon.
G David Milton, Kanyakumari
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