Bengaluru, Feb 07: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Saturday denied reports that Prime Minister Narednra Modi is likely to fly a Rafale jet during the forthcoming Aero India 2015.
MoD officially clarified that the "news item in a section of the media that ‘PM may fly in a Rafale,' is baseless.
"It is clarified that there is no plan for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fly in any fighter jet. The news item is incorrect, misconceived and is not based on facts," MoD spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said.
He said the the conduct of Aero India, a premier aero-show of Asia, has no linkage with any of the acquisition plans pursued by the MoD.
"Aero India will witness the participation of most of the original defence equipment manufactures from across the globe. As such, the event held biennially, provides defence manufacturers to showcase their products and innovations taking in the field," he said.
MoD woke up to ‘breaking news'
Sources in MoD told OneIndia that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) was embarrassed by the news item. "The clarification explains the seriousness of the matter. It was a serious error," an MoD official said refusing to give more details, said.
Fight from Saturday morning, the news item was received with ‘amusement' among defence circles. Online defence enthusiasts too got active with many wondering why Modi ‘chose Rafale' in instead of Sukhoi, the frontline Indian fighter.
While the MoD is yet to make an official statement, it is likely that Modi will be attending the 10th edition of Aero India.
Defence Journalists' plea reaches Parrikar
The Press Club of Bangalore (PCB) has officially written to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar requesting him for a live video link of the scheduled Aero India 2015 Curtain-Raiser Press Conference in New Delhi.
In support of aerospace and defence journalists and other media houses in Bengaluru, who will be covering the Aero India 2015, the PCB sent a letter recently to Parrikar asking for a live feed of February 9 press meet scheduled to be held at DRDO Bhawan.