Dassault aviation clarifies; Says Indian govt had no hand in choosing partners

The deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015

"It was the Indian government that proposed this service group (Reliance), and Dassault who negotiated with Ambani".

In his sharpest attack yet on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi today said "former French president Francois Hollande is calling the Prime Minister of India a thief" and that the PM needs to break his silence.

The statement by the Ministry of Defence comes amid media reports of the former French President claiming that the Indian government suggested the private firm for the Rafale offset contract. "I could not even imagine that there was any connection to a film by Julie Gayet", Hollande was quoted by the French media having commented on the ongoing Rafale deal.

The former French leader denied any personal conflict of interest over Reliance, which partially financed a film by his girlfriend Julie Gayet in the same year as the jet deal was finalized.

India's prime minister was under fire over allegations of corruption in a military jet deal with France after comments by former French President François Hollande. The French government says it played no role in Dassault's selection of Reliance. The following month, Reliance Defence and Dassault announced the creation of a joint venture, Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd, to manufacture the aircraft. However, the UPA could not seal the deal. "Other partnerships have been signed with other companies such as BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL, ".

The offset can be discharged by many means such as direct purchase of eligible products/services, FDI in joint ventures and investment towards equipment and transfer of technology.

"The PM and Anil Ambani jointly carried out a One Hundred & Thirty Thousand Crore, SURGICAL STRIKE on the Indian Defence forces".

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FILE PHOTO: Supporters of India's main opposition Congress Party shout slogans during a protest demanding from government to disclose the details of Rafale fighter planes deal, in Mumbai, India, July 30, 2018.

"This offsets contract is delivered in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 regulations".

In its statement, Dassault Aviation said it has decided to make a partnership with the Reliance Defence in accordance with the policy of "Make in India". "This is Dassault Aviation's choice", the company said. "We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor we were given", said Hollande.

Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, had chosen Reliance Defence as its partner to fulfil offset obligations of the deal.

The BJP on Saturday alleged Rahul Gandhi is playing into the hands of Pakistan and China after the Congress chief's remarks against Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal.

Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) defenders of the Rafale deal, notably Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, have repeatedly rejected Opposition charges of "crony capitalism" to favour Ambani.

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