New Delhi:  Major parties on Monday took strong exception to demands in the UK for stopping aid to India, with opposition BJP saying that the country did not require such help and should give a befitting reply to the "arrogance" of a section of the British political class by refusing it.

But despite demands by ruling Conservative party MPs and others to end it, Britain today defended its multi-million pound aid to India saying "now is not the time to quit".

The clamour to stop British aid reached a high after India last week decided to select the French fighter Rafale over Eurofighter Typhoon, which is partly manufactured in Britain, as its mainstay multi-role combat aircraft.

BJP MP Balbir Punj said, "I am surprised that in India which is seen as a rising economic power, inspite of the misgovernance by the UPA, should take these peanuts from the UK or anywhere else.

"I will call upon the government to stop this aid immediately. That will be a proper and fit reply to the arrogance of those British who think that they can influence the decision-making in India with the help of a few pennies."

Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said Britain was "reacting in a typical manner in which a conservative Tory-led government would react. They are saying that if you are not meeting our interests, why should we give you any aid."

"So any aid, which is tied or conditional, is not going to be helpful to India," Yechury said.

Referring to the decision on Rafale, Union Minister and Congress leader Veerappa Moily said, "Business cannot work on monopolies, but (depends) on competitiveness. Whatever the best quality and whatever the prices, we do business.

"Any country cannot dictate and say that you do business only with me and not anybody else, I don't think this can run. We have to deal with things that are in the best interests of the country."

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(Agencies)