Bahujan Samaj Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi why the Rafale jet has not yet been inducted into the Indian Air Force, PTI reported.
Her tweet critical of the Modi administration follows the prime minister’s claim that several Indians feel that the induction of several Rafale jets would have made a difference in the Indian Air Force’s dogfight with Pakistan last week. He repeated the statement soon after Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said that all aircraft are capable of fighting the enemy.
Mayawati accused the prime minister and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of neglecting the nation’s security. “The Rafale fighter could have proven useful in the fight against Pakistan, claims prime minister Narendra Modi in his rallies,” Mayawati tweeted. “Even then not a single Rafale inducted into Indian Air Force fleet during his government. Better explain to the people why this kind of lapse and neglect [has occurred] on the issue of country’s safety and security.”
In 2015, the Narendra Modi government had announced that India would buy 36 Rafale jets in a government-to-government deal with France instead of the 126 aircraft that had earlier been negotiated by the Congress-led government. The Congress has accused the current government of signing an overpriced deal and also of favouring businessman Anil Ambani’s company for the offset obligations of the deal.