Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on
Thursday 29 March 2018 said that by revealing the prices of Rafale aircraft on
demand by Congress President Rahul Gandhi would be like helping the enemy
governments about the composition and critical components of the aircraft.
Adding that Rafale deal is the most classic example of intergovernmental
agreement, Sitharaman said that Rahul Gandhi is in search of something against
the government, but asserted that he "will not find" anything as the
"government is corruption free". Sitharaman was talking at Times
Network's India Economic Conclave in New Delhi.
"Rahul Gandhi is in search of
something against this government. But he will not find anything as this
government is corruption free. (By revealing Rafale price) I will be helping
the enemy government too by revealing the avionics, the kind of weapons that
are attached to it. I am sure the people of this country will understand that
the motive with which Congress is asking is only to keep the pot boiling,"
Sitharaman said in an interview with Times Now's Navika Kumar.
Sitharaman said that the Congress too has
sought the cover of secrecy to not disclose certain sensitive data in the
national interest. "Why is it that that national security has become a
question now," she asked. Commenting on the budgetary concerns raised by
the three services in responses to the Parliamentary Standing Committee
reports, Sitharam said that utilisation of the allotted budget is more
important than allocating funds. "If there are funds, but we are not
utilising them, what is the point?" she questioned.
On being questioned about what the defence
forces personnel address her as the first woman Defence Minister of the country
said that the armed forces personnel address her as "Raksha Mantri"
and added that she is "happy" with the term.