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Arguments Heated at Defense Panel Meeting Over Rahul Gandhi’s Rafale Remarks | India News


NEW DELHI: The standing parliamentary defense committee saw a heated exchange between Congressional MP Rahul Gandhi and panel chairman Jual Oram on Thursday after Gandhi demanded to know from the government why he had reduced an order for 126 Rafale fighter jets to 36, and how he proposed to “make up” for the loss, especially in light of the joint aggression facing India at the hands of the Chinese and Pakistani armed forces.
Sources said Oram persistently prevented Gandhi from asking questions about the LAC situation and the Rafale jets and said they were “out of context”. However, Gandhi continued after insisting that his inquiries were related to defense purchases, within the mandate of the discussion on the Demand for Subsidies for the Ministry of Defense.
Later, however, Oram accepted Gandhi’s request for a separate and more detailed discussion on the situation in LAC and China. He said a separate meeting will be convened after discussions on budget allocations are completed.
A ruling party deputy, however, said Gandhi’s arguments were invalid as India is “fully equipped for limited engagement” and the numerical comparisons of aircraft make “no sense” in light of the nuclear capabilities of the three. nations. “We are capable enough to defend ourselves in a war on two fronts. People should not forget that we are also a nation with nuclear capabilities and strategic assets, ”he said.
The discussion, which followed a presentation by Indian Army and Air Force officers on their joint readiness in LAC and vis-à-vis India’s aggressive East and West neighbors China and Pakistan, also saw the CDS tell the House panel that India is developing fighter aircraft capability indigenously, both at DRDO and HAL. Rawat, the sources said, also told the panel that HAL was commissioned to build heavy combat aircraft, which are expected to be deployed in 2023.
As Gandhi sought to know what India would do in the meantime, another panel member tried to find out why HAL, which the government deemed “unfit” to “even carry out repairs on the Rafale fighter jets” until two years ago was now tasked with the job of building fighter jets for the Indian armed forces. The sources said they also asked why the government did not award contracts to HAL for the assembly, repair and maintenance of the Rafale fighter jets.
During Thursday’s meeting, several MPs also raised the issue of inadequate budget allocations to the Defense Ministry, stating that the allocation percentage for both the Indian Army and Air Force had been reduced in percentage terms compared to 2014. Without However, the defense secretary assured the panel that the ministry will obtain additional allocations as required.

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