Aero India show: Three Rafale jets land in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Even as the Rafale deal is creating a huge political controversy with the Congress accusing the BJP of massive irregularities in the deal, three of the fighter jets landed at the Yelahanka Air Force Station for the Aero India show 2019.

The 12th edition of Asia’s premier air show is said to be a five-day show and it begins on 20 February. The French-made jets arrived in India even as the Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) report on Indo-French Rafale deal was submitted in the Parliament.

According to reports, the two of the jets will be used for flying exercises and the third one for display.

The CAG report revealed that the Rafale fighter jets were 2.86 percent cheaper than the price that was being negotiated by the UPA in 2012. But further claimed that as the banking charges had been waived, the price agreed by the Indian government should have been even lower. Also, removal of sovereign guarantees only benefited the French manufacturer.

The report also stated that India saved 17.08 per cent money for the India Specific Enhancements while purchasing 36 Rafale aircraft, as compared to the 126 aircraft deal negotiated by the UPA government. Dassault is scheduled to deliver four Rafales to India in September.

Rahul Gandhi, however, slammed the report and called it ‘Chowkidar’ Auditor General report. He claimed the CAG report does not mention the dissent note by negotiators.

NT Bureau