Congress said the NDA government's decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets was "arbitrary", and claimed that it "cuts out" Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) from the process.
    
"We demand that the Prime Minister with his great jingoism about patriotism, national security and defence of India come clean on this because repeatedly, the Air Force has demanded at least 45 Squadrons comprising 20 aircrafts each," party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters.
    
He said India has "less than 27 Squadrons" comprising MIGs and Mirages.
    
Expressing concern over the "flip-flop-flip" of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on the issue, Singhvi wondered whether India's defence preparedness be met by adding just one or two more Squadrons.
    
Raising a number of questions, he wanted to know from the Prime Minister if the rest of the deal has been scrapped, against the backdrop of the Defence Minister's latest statement that only 36 jets would be bought and "126 Rafales
were economically unviable".
    
Speaking at a press conference here, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the party will raise the issue in the Parliament, and that PM Modi will have do some answering on the issue.
        
"If he (Modi) believes in transparency and if he is sincere about Make-in-India (programme), then what's behind this Rafale deal?" Sharma asked.
    
Sharma said he was shocked to learn from HAL officials that the company had also been cut out of the proposed fifth-generation fighter aircraft programme (with Russia).

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