New Delhi: Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group on Friday responded to the charges levelled against it by Congress President Rahul Gandhi on the multi-billion dollar Rafale deal, saying they were “shameful and deplorable”. The company, in return, charged the Congress party with “distorting” facts to mount an “unwarranted” campaign against the company for political gains. Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: Sharad Pawar Again Sides With Modi, Defends PM's Visit to Leh

In a statement, the Reliance Group said it was unfortunate that Anil Ambani’s name was being dragged into a political battle in view of the impending State and Lok Sabha Elections 2019. “The Congress Party has today once again resorted to blatant lies and distorted facts to mount an unwarranted campaign of calumny and falsehoods against…Chairman Anil Ambani personally,” it alleged. Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: In Letter to PM, Congress Leader Calls For CBI Probe

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi had alleged that Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale jets, paid Rs 284 crore to Reliance Defence as the “first installment of kickbacks” and claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi was having “sleepless nights” fearing action if a probe was conducted into the aircraft deal. Both Reliance and Dassault Aviation rejected the charges. Also Read - PM Modi Meets President Kovind, Briefs Him on Issues of 'National And International' Importance

Reliance claimed that Dassault’s investment in Reliance Airport Developers Limited (RADL) has no link with the Rafale deal between the governments of India and France. “Congress falsely alleged that funds invested in RADL were used for the purchase of land at Mihan, Nagpur for Dassault-Reliance 49:51 JV,” it said.

“The payment for the land at MIHAN, Nagpur, Maharashtra was made from 2015 to 2017, much before the investment by Dassault in RADL,” it said. Hitting out at Congress over its “continued lies and falsehoods”, it said, “The Congress party’s attacks on Mr. Anil Ambani in his individual capacity are shameful and deplorable.”