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Why ignored offer from Eurofighter, Congress asks Centre

Continuing its attack over the Rafale deal, the Congress on Friday asked the Union Government why it ignored a fresh offer of sale from makers of the Eurofighter aircraft that offered a lowered price.

Addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala shared a letter of July 4, 2014, when the head of the military aircraft division of Airbus wrote to the then Defence Minister making a fresh offer for the Eurofighter -- the only other aircraft that met technical standards of the Indian Air Force -- that was reportedly priced lower than the Rafale fighter aircraft.

In Delhi, former Congress minister Manish Tewari raised the same issue. “We would like to ask the Government of India: Was that offer evaluated? After all if somebody is offering you an aircraft which is supposedly 59 million euros or ₹444 crore cheaper than what you finally negotiated, you need to tell the people,” said Mr. Tewari at the briefing.

The Congress leader said the government should tell the country on what grounds was the “fresh offer was rejected since tax payers’ money is involved.”

For several weeks now, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has made the multi-crore Rafale deal an election issue in Gujarat, alleging wrong doing in the purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft.

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