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IAF forced to lie, says Prashant Bhushan

Advocate Prashant Bhushan. File

Advocate Prashant Bhushan. File  

‘Security compromised in Rafale deal’

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre has “broken the backbone” of the Indian Air Force (IAF) by indulging in “irregularities” in the Rafale deal and “compromised” national security, lawyer Prashant Bhushan told the media here on Sunday.

“In this scam you have broken the backbone of the IAF. You have compromised our security by providing only 36 aircraft to IAF, which needed 126,” said Mr. Bhushan.

Holding Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the ‘irregularities’, he said the Centre was forcing IAF officials to resort to falsehood over the Rafale deal to defend him.

He referred to the recent statement of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, who supported the “emergency procurement” of 36 aircraft.

“He [Mr. Dhanoa] is lying. I challenge him to show anywhere that the IAF had said that they want only 36 aircraft,” Mr. Bhushan said.

He accused the Prime Minister of destroying the ‘Make in India’ initiative by not including the government-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) in the offset clause.

“You [Prime Minister] finished ‘Make in India’ and self-reliance in defence. Then you increased the price of the aircraft from ₹670 crore to ₹1,660 crore because you have to give the offset contract to Ambani [Reliance Defence Ltd.],” Mr. Bhushan said.

He accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of uttering “lie after lie” over the Rafale deal just to “bail out” the Prime Minister.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 9:43:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/iaf-forced-to-lie-says-prashant-bhushan/article24962810.ece

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