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Rafale: Can’t become pawns in corporate warfare, Sitharaman says to Oppn
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Rafale: Can’t become pawns in corporate warfare, Sitharaman says to Oppn

19 Jan 2019 | 10:22 PM

NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday accused opposition parties of “playing into” corporate hands. "The questioning of the deal should be guided only by this country's strategic and security interests, and to clear doubts on process of procurement and transparency," Sitharaman said.

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Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 19

Defence Minister  Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday accused opposition parties of “playing into” corporate hands. "The questioning of the deal should be guided only by this country's strategic and security interests, and to clear doubts on process of procurement and transparency," Sitharaman said.

"I want every strand of this debate to be explained, as much as it can be, without any of us playing into the hands of international corporate warfare. None of us should play party to any corporate warfare. We cannot become pawns in the hands of the corporate giants to constantly bully the government, to constantly throw misinformation at the public, to misinform the public," she said.

Sitharaman, who was speaking about ‘India's Strategic interest in the context of the Rafale deal’, organised by Foundation For Public Awareness and Policy—a think tank— she said the controversy over Rafale deal was now beyond reasonable questioning.

“They have knocked at every door, including Supreme Court, but still continue with the questions. The answers to their questions have also been given during a discussion in Parliament on the issue. But they’re deliberately not trying to understand, and continue to misread and misconstrue Supreme Court's verdict on these issues.”

She wondered whether the procurement of 36 fighter jets was being "sabotaged".

"There is a growing sense that efforts are still being made to scuttle the Rafale deal. This would be the greatest disservice to the country," she said, adding that ever since the Modi government came to power, there was a conscious effort to keep middlemen at bay from the corridors of the Defence Ministry.

“Rafale will act as force-multiplier to country's defence capability,” she added.

Referring to opposition members playing with paper aeroplanes in Parliament when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was speaking during a discussion on Rafale issue, Sitharaman wondered if the opposition seriously wanted to hear the answers.  

She said their “hardwiring to corruption” was making it hard for them to believe the “above board” deal.

“The country cannot wait anymore to upgrade its air defence preparedness, considering the disturbances at its borders, and the neighbouring countries scaling up their preparedness at a fast pace,” she said.

PM inaugurates L&T’s K9 Vajra gun-making facility

PM inaugurates L&T’s K9 Vajra gun-making facility

19 Jan 2019 | 5:16 PM

HAZIRA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Armoured Systems Complex of Larsen and Toubro in Gujarat, the first private facility in the country where the K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer guns will be manufactured.

Resolve to make Modi PM again: Gadkari to BJP workers

Resolve to make Modi PM again: Gadkari to BJP workers

19 Jan 2019 | 10:32 PM

NAGPUR: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday asked BJP workers to resolve to make Narendra Modi the country's prime minister again in 2019.

Opportunist elements came together to remove PM Modi: BJP on Opposition rally

Opportunist elements came together to remove PM Modi: BJP on Opposition rally

19 Jan 2019 | 8:24 PM

NEW DELHI: Describing the united opposition rally organised by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee as a gathering of "opportunist elements", the Bharatiya Janata Party said on Saturday those who could not see eye-to-eye have come together with the sole agenda of removing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and without any roadmap for the future of the country.

Oppn leaders form committee to look into EVM manipulation

Oppn leaders form committee to look into EVM manipulation

19 Jan 2019 | 10:47 PM

KOLKATA: A four-member committee of opposition party leaders has been formed after reports of EVM manipulation by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee said on Saturday.

BJP has failed to check corruption: Anna Hazare

BJP has failed to check corruption: Anna Hazare

19 Jan 2019 | 9:26 PM

HYDERABAD: Padma Bhushan awardee and Gandhian civil rights activist Anna Hazare said the BJP government that had come to power on the agenda of eradicating corruption had failed to bring the promised Lokpal Bill as a result corruption was continuing.

Never have two RBI governors been humiliated, forced to quit: Chidambaram

Never have two RBI governors been humiliated, forced to quit: Chidambaram

19 Jan 2019 | 9:34 PM

MUMBAI: Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government over the "humiliation" of two Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governors.

BJP dissidents calls for ousting Modi-Shah

19 Jan 2019 | 9:22 PM

KOLKATA: Disgruntled and previous stalwarts of BJP like Shatrughan Sinha, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shorie, who held important position in the past NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee,joined ranks with opposition leaders Saturday to call for ousting Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

Like cinema, India is changing too: PM

Like cinema, India is changing too: PM

19 Jan 2019 | 8:22 PM

MUMBAI: Noting that Indian films which once focused on "helplessness" are now changing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that in today's India, there are more solutions than there are problems.

Shatrugan Sinha at Mamata's Kolkata rally; BJP says will take note

Shatrugan Sinha at Mamata's Kolkata rally; BJP says will take note

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 PM

NEW DELHI: Sharing the stage with opposition leaders in Kolkata, disgruntled BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha on Saturday called for changing the government in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and said he was not afraid of being removed from the ruling party.

Former SSC officers demand pro rata pension, ECHS benefits

Former SSC officers demand pro rata pension, ECHS benefits

19 Jan 2019 | 10:12 PM

NEW DELHI: Accusing the government of "indifference", former Short Service Commission (SSC) officers of the Armed Forces on Saturday decried over the Ministry of Defence's dawdling on making the "severance package" attractive and raising the terminal gratuity for SSC officers by at least two times at their release from service as recommended by Ajay Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC).

ED attaches Rs 16.40 cr assets of Zakir Naik’s family under PMLA

ED attaches Rs 16.40 cr assets of Zakir Naik’s family under PMLA

19 Jan 2019 | 7:53 PM

NEW DELHI: The ED has attached fresh assets worth Rs 16.40 crore in connection with its money-laundering probe against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, it said on Saturday.

Keeping Kim Davy case aside, India, Denmark rev up ties

Keeping Kim Davy case aside, India, Denmark rev up ties

19 Jan 2019 | 5:38 PM

NEW DELHI: Keeping aside the 1995 Purulia arms case in which Danish national Kim Davy played a key role, India and Denmark have boosted their bilateral relationship and are now planning to forge a strategic partnership, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said here on Saturday.

'Bogus voters' may delay release of voters' list in Mumbai

19 Jan 2019 | 7:11 PM

MUMBAI: The release of the voter's list for Mumbai that is due on January 31 may be delayed by a few days following allegations of a large number of bogus voters.

Amid debate over jobless growth, Goyal calls for better, accurate data

Amid debate over jobless growth, Goyal calls for better, accurate data

19 Jan 2019 | 6:53 PM

MUMBAI: Facing criticism for jobless growth, as many as 1.1 crore jobs were lost in 2018 alone, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday called for accurate data collection on employment and skilling.

Rajnath seeks NIMHANS' help to de-stress police force

Rajnath seeks NIMHANS' help to de-stress police force

19 Jan 2019 | 6:26 PM

BENGALURU: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday sought the assistance of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) here to help de-stress the armed police forces across the country in the wake of growing instances of suicide.

12 cops injured in Bihar anti-encroachment drive

12 cops injured in Bihar anti-encroachment drive

19 Jan 2019 | 6:12 PM

PATNA: At least 12 police officers were injured during an anti-encroachment drive on Saturday in Digha area of Patna in Bihar.

'India, Pak should engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve their issues'

'India, Pak should engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve their issues'

19 Jan 2019 | 5:13 PM

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan would engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.

Cold weather continues in Bengaluru, fog disrupts flights

Cold weather continues in Bengaluru, fog disrupts flights

19 Jan 2019 | 3:54 PM

BENGALURU: Cold nights with temperature dropping to a low of 11 degrees Celsius continued in Bengaluru, with fog during early hours disrupting at least 50 flights, officials said on Saturday.

Need to defeat dangerous BJP govt at any cost: Kejriwal

Need to defeat dangerous BJP govt at any cost: Kejriwal

19 Jan 2019 | 3:09 PM

KOLKATA: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday called upon people to defeat the “dangerous” BJP government at the Centre at any cost.

HIV-affected inmate dies while being ferried from hospital to jail

HIV-affected inmate dies while being ferried from hospital to jail

19 Jan 2019 | 5:11 PM

GHAZIABAD: A 28-year-old female inmate, who was suffering from HIV, has died while she was being ferried back from a hospital to a jail in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad district, authorities said.

BJP will not destabilise Karnataka government, says Yeddyurappa

BJP will not destabilise Karnataka government, says Yeddyurappa

19 Jan 2019 | 5:10 PM

BENGALURU: The BJP would not destabilise Karnataka’s ruling coalition, party state chief BS Yeddyurappa said on Saturday, after the Congress shifted all its MLAs to a resort near here.

GRP seizes over 20 kg of ganja from drug peddler

GRP seizes over 20 kg of ganja from drug peddler

19 Jan 2019 | 4:25 PM

GUWAHATI: The Government Railway Police on Saturday seized over 20 kg of ganja from a drug peddler at the Guwahati railway station here, GRP sources said.

SP-BSP alliance led to wave of happiness; BJP worried, says Akhilesh

SP-BSP alliance led to wave of happiness; BJP worried, says Akhilesh

19 Jan 2019 | 2:59 PM

KOLKATA: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said the coming together of the SP and the BSP had led to a wave of happiness in the country and left a worried BJP to hold meeting after meeting to devise a strategy to win even one seat in Uttar Pradesh.

Recover Rs 982 cr from resort where MLAs are staying: BJP to Cong

19 Jan 2019 | 4:24 PM

BENGALURU: Alleging that the resort where Congress legislators were staying fearing poaching owes Rs 982 crores to the Karnataka government as a penalty in a land encroachment case, the state BJP Saturday asked the Congress leaders to collect the amount and use it to waive farm loans.

Modi govt playing mischief with statistics: Yashwant Sinha

Modi govt playing mischief with statistics: Yashwant Sinha

19 Jan 2019 | 2:59 PM

KOLKATA: Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha on Saturday came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government saying this was the first government after Independence which had been playing “mischief” with the developmental statistics.

Bodies of teen siblings killed in US fire reach Telangana

19 Jan 2019 | 3:27 PM

HYDERABAD: The bodies of three teenage siblings from Telangana, who were among four people killed in a fire at a house in Tennessee, USA, two days before Christmas, have been brought here, family members said.

4 men killed as car rams into stationary truck in Bikaner

4 men killed as car rams into stationary truck in Bikaner

19 Jan 2019 | 2:57 PM

BIKANER: Four men were killed when a car in which they were travelling rammed into a stationary truck on Nagaur road here on Saturday morning.

Two women who tried to visit Sabarimala temple turned away by police

Two women who tried to visit Sabarimala temple turned away by police

19 Jan 2019 | 2:42 PM

SABARIMALA: Two women of menstruating age, who attempted to trek the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa here on early Saturday, were forced to return once again.

IRCTC scam: Delhi court extends Lalu's interim bail

IRCTC scam: Delhi court extends Lalu's interim bail

19 Jan 2019 | 3:25 PM

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday extended till January 28 the interim bail granted to RJD chief Lalu Prasad in two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) scam cases filed by the CBI and the ED.

India-Africa ties to redefine international order on egalitarian lines: Swaraj

India-Africa ties to redefine international order on egalitarian lines: Swaraj

19 Jan 2019 | 2:58 PM

GANDHINAGAR: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said that strong India-Africa relations would redefine the contours of the international order on more egalitarian lines.

16-month-old boy killed in fire in Aurangabad house

16-month-old boy killed in fire in Aurangabad house

19 Jan 2019 | 2:23 PM

AURANGABAD: A 16-month-old boy died and seven members of his family sustained severe burn injuries in a fire at their home in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district Friday night, police said.

Court extends interim protection from arrest to Vadra’s aide till Feb 6

Court extends interim protection from arrest to Vadra’s aide till Feb 6

19 Jan 2019 | 2:46 PM

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday extended till February 6 the interim protection from arrest granted to Manoj Arora, a close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, in a money-laundering case.

EVM is chor machine: Farooq Abdullah

EVM is chor machine: Farooq Abdullah

19 Jan 2019 | 1:59 PM

KOLKATA: National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Saturday called the EVM the "chor machine" and demanded that the ballot paper system be brought back for the sake of transparency.

Transferred nuns request Kerala CM's intervention

19 Jan 2019 | 1:40 PM

KOTTAYAM (KERALA): The four nuns, who publicly protested last year demanding rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal's arrest, and were handed transfer orders three days back, on Saturday sought Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's intervention in the matter.

‘Mahagathbandhan’ will ensure defeat of BJP: Jignesh Mevani

‘Mahagathbandhan’ will ensure defeat of BJP: Jignesh Mevani

19 Jan 2019 | 12:24 PM

KOLKATA: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani on Saturday said the coming together of so many opposition leaders at TMC’s opposition rally gave a message for change in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

We are fighting against thieves: Hardik Patel at opposition rally

We are fighting against thieves: Hardik Patel at opposition rally

19 Jan 2019 | 12:18 PM

KOLKATA: Gujarat Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Saturday said while Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had given a call to fight against the ‘goro’ (Britishers) “we are fighting against ‘choro’ (thieves).”

Tumultuous welcome for Mamata at Brigade Ground

Tumultuous welcome for Mamata at Brigade Ground

19 Jan 2019 | 11:57 AM

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee received a tumultuous welcome as she reached the Brigade Parade Ground for the opposition’s mega anti-BJP rally on Saturday.

AAP says no to truck with Cong

AAP says no to truck with Cong

19 Jan 2019 | 12:26 PM

NEW DELHI: Dubbing the Congress as “toxic”, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today said it would go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections. It would field candidates for all seats in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

Chamling exhorts Sikkim farmers to increase production of organic foodgrains

Chamling exhorts Sikkim farmers to increase production of organic foodgrains

19 Jan 2019 | 11:12 AM

GANGTOK: Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has exhorted the farmers of his state to increase production of organic foodgrains to cater to domestic demands.

Woman gang-raped in UP’s Muzaffarnagar

Woman gang-raped in UP’s Muzaffarnagar

19 Jan 2019 | 11:13 AM

MUZAFFARNAGAR: A 22-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped by two men in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district, police said on Saturday.

104 cartons of illicit liquor seized in Shamli; 2 arrested

104 cartons of illicit liquor seized in Shamli; 2 arrested

19 Jan 2019 | 11:13 AM

MUZAFFARNAGAR: Police have seized 104 cartons of illicit liquor from a truck and arrested two people in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district, an official said on Saturday.

Cases against disabled troops may be dropped

Cases against disabled troops may be dropped

19 Jan 2019 | 12:05 PM

NEW DELHI:In what may remove a major irritant, the Ministry of Defence is working on a solution to withdraw cases filed in courts against disabled soldiers.

Body of fisherman who drowned off Sri Lanka arrives in Tamil Nadu

Body of fisherman who drowned off Sri Lanka arrives in Tamil Nadu

19 Jan 2019 | 11:13 AM

RAMANATHAPURAM: The body of a 61-year-old Tamil Nadu fisherman, who drowned in the sea after his boat capsized off Neduntheevu while being chased by the Sri Lankan Navy, was brought here from the island nation and cremated, a fisheries department official said on Saturday.

3 air surveillance squadrons for Navy

3 air surveillance squadrons for Navy

19 Jan 2019 | 11:20 AM

NEW DELHI:The Indian Navy will get three new air squadrons to ramp up maritime surveillance around Gujarat and Tamil Nadu with the government giving its sanction.

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