Rafale aircraft deal not complete yet: Parrikar
A day after BJP claimed the Rafale aircraft deal with France has been “finalised” at USD 8.8 billion (Rs 59,000 crore), Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said it is not complete as yet but at an “advanced stage” and the intention is to “close it quite soon”. In a lighter vein, he told reporters here that the BJP tweet only indicates that journalists write stories very convincingly. BJP had yesterday tweeted a graphic, saying that the Rafale combat aircraft deal has been “finalised” and the Narendra Modi government had saved over Rs 21,000 crore in the “re-negotiation” with the French government. Defence Ministry sources had earlier said the deal was at an advanced stage and both India and France had narrowed down their differences over the pricing issue. “I can only tell you this much that while the deal is in quite an advanced stage, and we intend to close it quite soon, I still can’t say that negotiations are totally cleared until we sign the deal or at least the deal is forwarded to the Cabinet for approval,” Parrikar told reporters here.