Free Press Journal

No question of engaging Oppn: Sitharaman

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 New Delhi : Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has ruled out any engagement with the Opposition on issues relating to the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal, saying they do not deserve to be involved after throwing muck on a very sensitive issue concerning India’s defence preparedness.

Sitharaman said the government decided to go for procuring only two squadrons of Rafale jets as an emergency measure in the wake of China and Pakistan significantly ramping up their air power by inducting stealth fighters.

“They are misleading the country with something which was not even agreed to during the UPA government. You are throwing an allegation saying there is a fraud. You did not care for operational preparedness of the air force,” she told PTI in an interview.


She was asked whether the government will engage with opposition parties the way former PM Manmohan Singh in 2005 had taken the Opposition into confidence and addressed their apprehensions to pave way for finalising the nuclear deal with the US.

“It (Rafale deal) is an inter-governmental agreement. You (Opposition) have asked us questions and I have given answers to them in Parliament. Then what am I calling them for? What am I going to tell them when I call them?” she said.