The Rafale controversy has entered into another storm and is creating more headaches for the BJP led Indian government as French based media portal has revealed that it was ‘imperative’ and ‘mandatory’ for Dassault Aviation to choose Reliance Defence for the company to crack the Rafale deal.
French media portal Mediapart claimed that it was in possession of a document by Dassault Aviation which said that an “alliance” with the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as a “counterpart” was “imperative and mandatory” to clinch the fighter jet deal with India.
The exact translation of the excerpts from the portal is – “It was a false inauguration. A symbolic “first stone” was placed on pre-cut turf, under a capital of circumstance, in Nagpur (central India), but it announced the beginning of the construction of the “future factory” Dassault-Reliance.
According to an internal Dassault document obtained by Mediapart, a senior member of the aviation group had explained to the staff representatives that the joint venture was a “counterpart”, “imperative and mandatory” to get the Rafale market”.
The deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France was announced by Modi in 2015 and signed in 2016.
But all hell broke loose in Indian politics and the economy after the Rs 59,000 deal to procure 36 jets was awarded to Anil Ambani’s newly formed Reliance Defence instead of the government backed Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which led to new uproar and criticism in the country, accusing the government of corruption and favourism towards the Amabani’s.
However, the Modi government has repeatedly denied the allegations and said it was Dassault that chose its India partner for offsets and that the government had no say in the deal.