Rahul stands by his remarks on ‘secrecy pact’ in Rafale deal

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New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Even as France on Friday denied that Rahul Gandhi had been told by French President Emmanuel Macron that there was no secrecy pact with India on the Rafale jet deal, the Congress President stood by his remarks saying that these were made in presence of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party leader Anand Sharma.

“Let them deny it if they want. He (Macron) said that before me. I was there, Anand Sharma and Dr Manmohan Singh were also there,” Gandhi told reporters here.

Following Gandhi’s remarks made during the debate on the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, the French government issued a statement that there was a legally-binding agreement security agreement binding the two countries which also covers the agreement to purchase the Rafale fighter jets by India.

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It also said that the French President had indicated publicly in an interview that the deal was very sensitive and all details cannot be revealed.

Gandhi had said in Lok Sabha that there was no secrecy pact with India on the Rafale jet deal, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had lied to the nation about it.

“I personally met the French President and asked him if there was a secrecy pact with India. He told me that no such pact was signed between the two countries. He said he had no hesitation in saying this and that I can tell this to my country,” he said.

Gandhi said the price per plane during the UPA regime was Rs 520 crore but when Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to France and “with some magic” powers, the price per plane increased to Rs 1,600 crore.

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