New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday hit back at Dassault Aviation Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Trappier, who dismissed Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s allegations over the Rafale higher jet deal, terming the interview as “dictated” and said that “manufactured lies” could not “suppress” the aircraft scam. Also Read - Why Should I Apologise: Kamal Nath Snubs Rahul Gandhi After Criticism on 'Item' Remark
In a tweet, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala claimed that “mutual beneficiaries and co-accused’s statements” did not hold “any value”. Also Read - 'Unfortunate', Rahul Gandhi Disapproves of Kamal Nath's 'Item' Remark Against BJP Candidate
“First rule of Law – Mutual Beneficiaries & Co-accused’s statements hold no value. Second Rule -Beneficiaries & Accused can’t be Judge in their own case. Truth has a way of coming out,” tweeted Surjewala. Also Read - Even Pakistan, Afghanistan Handled Covid-19 Better: Rahul Gandhi Takes a Dig at Govt Over IMF Projections
“Nation doesn’t need ‘doctored explanations’ but ‘fair investigation’! Fixed match between BJP Govt & Dassault and PR Stunts of PM Modi & Eric Trappier can’t hide the blatant corruption,” he wrote in another tweet.
Congress’ retort came after Trappier, in an exclusive interview to ANI, rubbished the allegations made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi that the former lied about the details of the Dassault- Reliance Joint Venture (JV) for offset contracts in the controversial Rafale higher jet deal. He added that Dassault chose Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as an offset partner for the deal by itself.
Refuting Gandhi’s charge that Dassault was covering up for the possible cronyism in awarding the offset deal to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, Trappier said, “I don’t lie. The truth I declared before and the statements I made are true. I don’t have a reputation of lying. In my position as CEO, you don’t lie”.
Rahul Gandhi, in a press conference on November 2, alleged that Dassault invested Rs 284 crore in a loss-making company promoted by Anil Ambani which was used to procure land in Nagpur. “It is clear the Dassault CEO is lying.If an inquiry starts on this Modi is not going to survive it. Guaranteed,” added Gandhi.
Claiming that the current deal of 36 Rafale aircrafts was 9 per cent cheaper, Trappier clarified that the money being invested was not going to Reliance directly but in a Joint Venture (JV) that included Dassault.
Soon after the Dassault CEO clarifying the air on the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi reiterated his ‘chor’ jibe against Narendra Modi, saying that the prime minister has admitted to “theft” in the Rafale deal before the Supreme Court and changes in the contract without asking the Indian Air Force.
On Monday, the Centre submitted a 14-page document titled “Details of the steps in the decision-making process leading to the award of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft order” to the Supreme Court.
“Modi ji has admitted to his theft in the Supreme Court. In the affidavit, he admitted to changes in the contract without asking the Air Force and put Rs 30,000 crore in Ambani’s pocket.
“The picture is still to come my friend,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
He also tagged a media report, alleging that the government in its affidavit before the Supreme Court has thrown up more “wrong doings” in the Rafale deal.