Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday demanded that the BJP-led central government come clean on the Rafale deal in light of former French president Francois Hollande's purported statement "directly contradicting" its stand.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Kejriwal said, "By hiding crucial facts on Rafale deal, is Modi govt not endangering national security ? Former French President's statement directly contradicts what Modi govt had been saying so far (sic).
"Can the country be taken for a ride any further?"
Mr Kejriwal's reaction came after a French media report quoted Hollande as purportedly saying that the Indian government proposed Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale jet fighter deal and France did not have a choice.
The Congress and other opposition parties also latched on to the report and stepped up their attack on the Modi government over the deal.
"President (Former) Francois Hollande should also enlighten us how the price went up from 590 crore in 2012 to 1690 crore in 2015 per Rafale fighter jet? Escalation of a mere 1100 crore. I am sure the Euro equivalent would not be a problem to calculate," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari tweeted.
Reacting to Hollande's remark that is at variance with the stand taken by the Indian government, the defence ministry spokesman said on Friday, "The report referring to former French president Hollande's statement that government of India insisted upon a particular firm as offset partner for the Dassault Aviation in Rafale is being verified.
"It is reiterated that neither the government nor the French government had any say in the commercial decision."
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