Disgruntled BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha on Saturday said the Union government should come clean on the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Speaking to reporters at Katol near Nagpur in Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said the questions arising from former France president Francois Hollande’s statement must be answered.
“The statement has come from a person who was not only a former France president but the one under whom the (Rafale) deal was sealed. Some questions have arisen from it, which need to be answered,” Sinha, who has been consistently critical of his party’s government, said.
A French publication has quoted Hollande as saying that the Indian government proposed Reliance Defence as the partner for French aerospace giant Dassault in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale deal.
“People are questioning why an experienced company like HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) was set aside and a new company (Reliance Defence) got the opportunity (for offset contract under the deal),” Sinha said.
“How this thing happened without the knowledge of the defense minister?…the person in the know should not hide it as it will come out one way or the other,” the actor-turned-politician said.
“It will be in the interest of the country and the party that the truth comes out with transparency,” Sinha said in the presence of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh.
Sinha, who is rumored to be joining the AAP lauded the work done by the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi while claiming that in the Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre, most work is done by the prime minister’s office, and not by the ministers.
“People call me (BJP) rebel, but I speak in the interest of the country and the party. If I say demonetization was wrong, what is wrong with that…people suffered a lot during demonetization due to an individual’s decision. I want to state very responsibly that it was not a party’s or a cabinet’s decision,” he said.
“According to some people even the finance minister did not know about it,” he alleged.
Sinha was interacting with the media at the ‘Katol festival’organized by local BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh.
To a question, Sinha said he advised Deshmukh, who too criticises the BJP frequently, that he should not resign as he was “showing the mirror to the party and guiding it in the right way”.