Why the Rafale Deal, as Predicted, has Blown Up in The PM

Hannah Rogers
September 23, 2018

Under Indian defence procurement rules, a foreign firm must invest at least 30 percent of the contract in India to help it build up its manufacturing base and wean off imports. Here, it gets more interesting.

The BJP government, which is facing a scathing attack from the Congress over Rafale controversy following former French president Francois Hollande's claims, accused Rahul Gandhi of "repeating untruth" and slammed him for using "brazen and abusive language" against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Hollande, in an interview to a media house on Friday, said that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal. This on the night when the pushback has begun against the Hollande revelations - from the Indian government, to France, to Dassault, the parent company of Rafale issuing responses.

His attack comes a day after Francois Hollande revealed to a French investigative journal that the government of India proposed Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as the India partner for the 36 Rafale jet deal, which was signed in 2015, and France had no choice but to accept the deal.

Noting that it is risky to speak against the central government, an employee in the HAL engine division said most of the employees had defended the government in the case prior to the remarks by Hollande. He pointed out that Hollannde who is not in office any longer was under no serious political compulsion to make the remarks. Before anyone thinks the Prime Minister was referring to kickbacks associated with some defence deals, the air must be cleared.

"The PM personally negotiated & changed the #Rafale deal behind closed doors". Thanks to François Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to a bankrupt Anil Ambani. "Shame on you. You betrayed India's soul".

Mocking Gandhi, Prasad said, "One can not expect anything better from someone who has become the president of the Congress purely because of his family and not because of talent or ability". Congress has been accusing Modi of helping Anil Ambani by recommending him to then French Government for Rafale.

Airplane passengers left bleeding from ears and nose after cabin pressure mistake
This is not an isolated incident where passengers had to suffer due to the sheer negligence on the part of the airline companies. Several commuters complained of severe headaches and at least 30 reported bleeding from their nose and ears.

Dassault was finally chosen as the lowest bidder and after putting the Rafale aircraft to the required tests of India's climatic conditions.

Paris was "in no way involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners", it added. It has insisted that it has no role in Dassault's choice of a commercial partner. This dragged on till the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that brought the BJP-led NDA government to power. "They are today blaming Hon'ble PM Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal, who has given India its most honest administration since Independence", tweeted Railways Minister Piyush Goyal.

The Modi government has repeatedly said it was Dassault that chose its India partner for offsets and that the government had no say in the deal.

The Modi government claimed it had no role to play in France choosing Reliance Defence as its partner.

The implied "conflict of interest" relates to the Reliance Group's investment of Euro 1.6 million in 2016, in a film produced by Hollande's partner, actress Julie Gayet.

The former French President Hollande has rarely been taken very seriously in French politics and by leaders of the outside world. Rejecting the allegations of a scam in the Rafale fighter plane deal, Jaitely said that whether the planes are bought at a higher rate or not is a matter for the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to examine.

This has nothing to do with the Government of India and, therefore, any private industry having benefited from the Government of India is a complete lie. They are not partners in the Rafale deal.

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