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Invoking OSA in rafale case suggests government on backfoot

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11.03.2019

At one point, especially after the CAG report, it appeared the government had weathered the worst of the Rafale controversy. Ideally, there could have been no comparison between the UPA’s Rafale deal and that of the NDA since, despite 10 long years of negotiations, there was no UPA deal; it was just an unending conversation and merely a statement of intent. The deal was stuck on costs since the Indian partner—the public sector HAL—was going to produce the aircraft at a higher cost than Dassault in France and, more important, Dassault was not willing to stand guarantee for the aircraft HAL produced even though these would be under licence. The fact that the UPA wasn’t able to sign a deal while the Indian Air Force found its fleet rapidly depleting would, in normal circumstances, be enough to ensure the Congress party kept quiet on the deal. Indeed, the recent statement by the then defence minister AK Antony, that he had intentionally delayed the deal in the national interest—he has not explained what he meant—makes the UPA’s position even more untenable since the story........

© The Financial Express