New Delhi: A day after former French president claimed that the Indian government had “proposed” Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the offset partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rafale deal, the French Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, asserted that Francois Hollande’s remarks ‘provide no service to France’. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Holds Virtual Meet With Bengal Leaders to Discuss Left-Congress Alliance For 2021 Polls
In an interview on Radio J in France, Lemoyne said,”I find these remarks made overseas, which concern important international relations between France and India, do not help anyone and above all do not help France,” Also Read - Delhi Chalo: Rahul Gandhi Backs Protesting Farmers, Says Modi Govt Will Have To Take Back 'The Black Law'
“Because one is no longer in office, causing damage to a strategic partnership between India and France by making remarks that clearly cause controversy in India is really not appropriate,” he added. (Hollande’s Claim on Rafale Deal is in Perfect Rhythm With Rahul Gandhi’s Predictions: Jaitley) Also Read - Congress Leader Ahmed Patel Laid to Rest in Gujarat’s Bharuch, Rahul Gandhi Attends Funeral
Earlier on Saturday, Francois Hollande told French Journal Media in an interview that the French side had no role in deciding the Offset partner for Dassault and the name of Reliance was given by the Indian side. Hollande made this statement while defending himself and his partner Julie Gayet over alleged funding by Reliance of the latter’s film.
Following his remarks, the political war over Rafale deal escalated in India. While Rahul Gandhi called Narendra Modi a “thief” and “corrupt”, BJP hit back at the party for using derogatory remarks against PM Modi.
Rahul Gandhi said the former French President had called PM Modi a “thief” in the Rafale deal and sought a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the agreement to purchase 36 fighter jets from France.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on the other hand, slammed the Congress president for using “abusive” language against PM Modi and said Rahul Gandhi and the Congress “betray their sense of desperation being out of power”.