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Indian Air Force should stay out of Rafale debate: Chidambaram


New Delhi, Dec 21: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has said that the Indian Air Force should not get involved in debate over Rafale fighter jet deal over which the grand old party has been trying to corner the BJP-led Centre.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Wednesday called Rafale a game changer and cautioned against politicisation of defence purchases. He welcomed the Supreme Court judgement on Rafale in which the top court dismissed all petitions seeking an inquiry into the government's procurement of Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault Aviation. The court said it was satisfied that the process for procurement

Rafale is game changer, SC delivered fine judgment: Air Chief

"We are not questioning the Air Force Chief, we are humbly requesting the Army and Air Force to stay out of this debate as no one is doubting the capability of the aircraft, questions are being raised on the deal," ANI quoted Chidambaram as saying.

The opposition parties are, however, determined to corner the goverment over the Rafale deal and the issue has been disrupting the Parliament proceeding.

The Congress has alleged irregularities in the deal for 36 aircraft and claimed that the Narendra Modi government is buying them at a price much higher than the one that was being negotiated by the previous government.

Winter Session: Rafale likely to dominate proceedings, opposition in no mood to relent

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa in October had said that Dassault Aviation had chosen Reliance Defence as its offset partner, and that the government and the Indian Air Force had no role to play in the choice.

The Congress had alleged that the government had put pressure on Dassault Aviation to select Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL) as its offset partner. The government, RDL and Dassault Aviation rejected the charges.

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