Rafale Deal Controversy: Former French President Francois Hollande Claims Modi Government Imposes Decision To Select Reliance Defence Ltd As Offset Partner

Team Latestly
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the facility where are being produced on Friday during her three-day visit to France. She took stock if the progress in the supply of 36 Rafale jets by Dassault Aviation.

Paris, September 21: In a new twist to the Rafale deal controversy, former French President Francois Hollande in an interview has said that the Modi Government imposed the decision to choose Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence Limited. In the interview, Hollande said that the French government had no say in picking the offset partner for Dassault Aviation. He further added that the Indian government had proposed that group service.

Also Read | Rafale Deal: Differences Between HAL, Dassault Aviation Led to Collapse of Talks During UPA Term

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government always claimed that it had no role in the selection of the Reliance Defence Limited as the Indian partner of Dassault Aviation for the offset deal. Ambani in his letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi had also claimed that the government had no role in French Group Dassault picking up his company as a local partner.

In the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s proposed deal to purchase 126 Rafale Jets, 108 jets were to be manufactured in India in partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The Congress has been targeting the Modi government for giving offset-deal to newly created private sector company Reliance Defence Limited instead of public sector entity, HAL. However, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the UPA government took the decision of de-selecting HAL.

Initially, the UPA government signed a deal of USD 12 billion which amounts to Rs 78,000 crore (approx.) for acquiring 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), Rafale Fighter jets. The NDA government after coming to power scrapped the old deal. The central government signed a new contract with the French government in 2016, worth Rs 59,000 to acquire 36 jets in ready to fly condition.