Rafale firing the Meteor Beyond-Visual-Range air-ti-air missile

Rajnath Singh has said Rafale jets would have prevented Indian forces from entering Pakistan in order to attack them

Reiterating what PM Modi had said earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday claimed that had our defence forces had the Rafale jet from before, they would not have to enter Pakistan.

In an apparent attack on the previous UPA government which was the first to engage in talks with the French government to buy Rafale fighter jets in 2013-2014, Singh said, "If we had the Rafale fighter jets, in my opinion, we would not have had to send our Jawans to Pakistan."

Speaking at a rally in Lucknow from where he is contesting the Lok Sabha elections, Rajnath Singh also said, "Rafale jets can attack the neighbouring countries even when they are stationed in the Indian territory."

In days after the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot airstrike, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was the chief guest at the India Today Conclave 2019, had made a similar remark and said that if India had Rafale jets in its fleet, Pulwama would never have happened.

On March 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country is feeling the absence of Rafale fighter jets. He said if previous governments had purchased the Rafale aircraft the outcome of the recent incidents could have been different.

Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2019, PM Narendra Modi said there is a lot of talk in the country these days that the country is suffering due to the absence of Rafale fighter jets.

Months before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Manmohan Singh government was in talks with the French government to seal the Rafale deal. However, in 2015, PM Modi announced a new Rafale deal during his Paris visit.

In this new deal, the NDA government signed a new deal of 36 Rafale jets as against Congress's earlier proposal of 126 jets.