In an editorial, Saamna said Modi had in his speech on “patriotism” in Parliament on Thursday defended the deal. “The PM made the oft-repeated allegation that Congress does not want the defence services to be strengthened. And the next day, documents surface showing how extreme Modi’s personal interest in the deal was. What does one make of it?” the paper asked.
Referring to a newspaper report about the defence ministry having raised objections to “parallel discussions” conducted by the PMO during negotiations over the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal between India and France, Sena said the “document” that had come to light had “silenced those raising patriotic slogans and thumping benches in the House (when the PM was making his speech).”
“Modi was directly ‘dealing’ with the matter. Key people like the defence minister, defence secretary were kept away. Modi himself took decisions on issues like prices of Rafale (planes) and who would get its contract. Hence he will have to face allegations and criticism,” Saamna claimed.
Referring to Rahul Gandhi’s constant criticism of the government, Saamna asked why the opposition should be blamed for raising the matter, adding that the people of India would keep asking questions till they get a satisfactory answer on why a plane costing Rs500 crore had been bought at Rs 1,600 crore.
Modi had Thursday said in Parliament that the opposition could criticise him and the BJP, but not the nation over the issue. The Sena alleged that definitions of nationalism and patriotism had “changed” under the BJP regime. “How does seeking of explanations on issues of national security become criticism of the country?” Saamna asked.