"Dear RM, what's shameful is your boss silencing you".
"I am not shying away from giving figures", she said, asking the Defence Secretary to share the numbers.
Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi alleged PM Modi bypassed several norms before announcing the deal with France.
Surjewala said the UPA government floated a tender on August 20, 2007 for purchase of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for the Air Force and, post negotiations, two of them-Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon remained in the reckoning.
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She said the present government addressed the "vacuum" in the national security structure created by the indecisiveness of the UPA dispensation by "immediately" going for procurement of 36 aircraft in a fly-away condition. "Why PM bypassed experienced HAL & gave the deal to AA rated businessman with no defence experience?"
Speaking at an interactive session organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce And Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) here on Friday, she said whatever is manufactured by the industry will turn invalid in a year's time in the defence world. The delivery of the jets is scheduled to begin from September, 2019.
On Congress allegation that Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale, refused transfer of technology (ToT) to India, Sitharaman said it does not make economic sense to go for ToT for 36 aircraft as that would have resulted in escalation of cost.
Sitharaman said that 36 Rafale fighters were bought as the government wanted to procure fighter jets at the earliest, and added that more fighter jets will have to be bought to meet the Indian Air Force's requirements.
Sitharaman's statement came a day after Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa rebutted the Congress accusations on Rafael.