Panaji: The Congress accused the Central govt of stonewalling questions over Rafale deal, saying there was a “conspiracy of silence” and an attempt to “bypass the national interest”.

Party spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi claimed that the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was not in the loop when the agreement to procure 36 fighter planes from France was signed in 2016 and demanded that he “break his silence” on the issue.

Addressing a press conference here, Chaturvedi said Parrikar’s “silence amounts to agreement to the conspiracy that has betrayed the nation.”

She alleged that the Modi government had made “self- interest as its primary goal over the national interest.”

The spokesperson claimed that the union government had overpriced the aircraft, reduced the number of aircraft and taken the offset benefit away from a public sector company and handed it over to a “friendly” private company.

“I dont call Rafale a deal. It is a scam. And what the government is doing and how it is trying to defend itself is nothing but a sham,” Chaturvedi said.

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