India Today - - UPFRONT -

Union de­fence min­is­ter Nir­mala Sitharaman is part of the fire­fight­ing team wag­ing the govern­ment’s per­cep­tion bat­tle against the Congress party’s al­le­ga­tions of nepo­tism in the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal with France. She was in Egypt on a two-day of­fi­cial tour when the con­tro­ver­sial in­ter­view with French pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande broke out. But she is clearly in no hurry to at­tend her next over­seas en­gage­ment: to Paris to meet with her French coun­ter­part Florence Parly for a strate­gic di­a­logue. The meet­ing, due in Septem­ber, might now take place in Oc­to­ber, de­fence min­istry of­fi­cials say, as mu­tu­ally con­ve­nient dates are be­ing worked out. Enough ruf­fled feath­ers over Rafale.

Illustration by SIDDHANT JUMDE

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