Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today clarified that India would get delivery of Rafale fighter jets from France by the end of May this year.
His assertion comes in the wake of reports in a section of media that Coronavirus scare may hit the delivery schedule of four Rafale jets which were expected in May this year. The four Rafale jets will be inducted in the Indian Air Force at its station in Ambala.
Replying to questions from Rajat Sharma in the show 'Aap Ki Adalat', the Defence Minister said: "Rafale jets May ke ant mein aa rahi hai. Jahaan khabar karni ho, karaa den". (Rafale jets are coming by May end. You can use this as news)
Rajnath Singh revealed how he told the pilot taking him in a Rafale jet in France last year to fly at supersonic speed. "I asked the pilot, at what speed are you flying? He replied, at 850-900 km per hour. I asked, can you fly at supersonic speed? He replied, Yes Sir. I told him, Don't worry, go ahead at supersonic speed. The pilot replied: I am proud of you, Sir."
Asked why he wrote 'Om' on the first Rafale fighter jet that was delivered to India, Singh replied: " Om is a symbol of our culture. I may be anywhere on Earth, but I will never ignore Indian culture."
When Rajat Sharma pointed out that terrorists were back in Balakot, Pakistan for training, the Defence Minister replied: "Please wait. (Prateeksha kariye). I can say only this much that if there is any attack on our security and sovereignty, our armed forces have the capability to give a befitting reply."
On Pakistan continuing its efforts to send weapons and terrorists to India, Rajnath Singh replied: "They do make efforts from their end, and we stop them too. We take counter measures. but God forbid, if any such situation occurs in future. India is not a weak country. Our armed forces have the capability to give them a befitting reply (moonh-tod jawaab)."
On Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion that India has the capability to defeat Pakistan in a war within seven to eight days, the Defence Minister replied: "Our Prime Minister never says incorrect things (PM kabhi galat nahin boltey). But we want our neighbour to remain peaceful and secure because Atal Ji (Vajpayee) used to say, we can change friends, but we cannot change our neighbours."
On Pakistan PM Imran Khan vowing that each Pakistani child among its 20 crore population will fight till the finish if India started a war, Rajnath Singh replied: "Won't you allow him to say at least this? The fact is, whenever we had wars with Pakistan, they lost. In 1971, Pakistan not only lost the war, but was broken up. "
On Pak Occupied Kashmir, Rajnath Singh said: "POK was, is, and always remain part of India. POK belongs to India only. As far as Kashmir valley is concerned, the situation has improved a lot, there has been block and village level elections, and very soon, the entire Valley will become normal."
Asked about inflammatory statements by some BJP leaders before Delhi riots, Rajnath Singh defended Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra by saying that he had nowhere threatened riots. "His remark has nothing to do with riots. He'd only said, we will come out in the streets if the roads are blocked. This could mean dharna, demonstration, which is a democratic riot."
On Union Minister Anurag Thakur's remark 'Desh Ke Gaddaron Ko, Goli Maron Saalon Ko', Rajnath Singh said: "I do not agree with this slogan. Often it so happens that the leader shouts the first part of the slogan from the dais, and people below may have used the objectionable second part. In such a situation, a leader should have corrected himself and set things right, which he did not."
Rajnath Singh said, he also did not agree with Delhi BJP MP Pravesh Verma's inflammatory speech against Muslims during the elections. "Personally, I do not support such remarks."
On a large section of international media reporting about insecurity among Indian Muslims, Rajnath Singh said: "As the senior most member of the cabinet, and having worked for a long time with Narendra Modi, I can say that our Prime Minister's thinking has never been communal. During the Gujarat riots, the media tried to tarnish his image and he had to endure a lot of calumny".
Rajat Sharma's show 'Aap Ki Adalat' with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be telecast tonight at 10 pm on India TV. The repeat telecasts will take place tomorrow Sunday at 10 am and 10 pm.
Watch the full show: