New Delhi: A day after former French president Francois Hollande claimed that Indian government had suggested Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the offset partner in the Rafale deal, the French government and Dassault Aviation (the makers of the Rafale jets) denied their involvement in the choice of Indian industrial partners in the multi-million dollar jet contract. Also Read - Actor Sana Saeed's Father Passed Away on The Day of Janata Curfew While She Was Stuck in LA Amid Lockdown
“The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies. In accordance with India’s acquisition procedure, French companies have the full freedom to choose the Indian partner companies that they consider to be the most relevant, then present for the Indian government’s approval the offsets projects that they wish to execute in India with these local partners so as to fulfil their obligations in this regard,” Spokesperson of France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said in a statement. Also Read - April 5 at 9PM: Bollywood Celebs React as PM Modi Urges to Switch Off Electricity, Light up Diyas to Combat Coronavirus
It added,”As it happens, agreements have already been signed by French companies with many Indian firms, both public and private, under the framework of Indian laws.” Also Read - 'Get Real, Photo-Op PM', Opposition Comes Down Heavily on Modi Over 'Light Diyas' Appeal
Dassault Aviation in a statement also issued a clarification, which reads, “This offsets contract is delivered in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 regulations. In this framework, and in accordance with the policy of ‘Make in India’, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This is Dassault Aviation’s choice.”
The Paris-based company said that the partnership between the two giants led to the creation of the “Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) joint-venture in February 2017. “Dassault aviation is very proud that the Indian authoritie have selected the Rafale fighter,” it added.
Earlier on Friday, contradicting Modi government claims that it was Dassault that chose its India partner for offsets and that the government had no say in the deal, former French president, François Hollande, claimed that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence.
Thanking Hollande, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said, “PM personally negotiated and changed Rafale deal behind closed doors. Thanks to François Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to bankrupt Anil Ambani. PM has betrayed India. He has dishonoured blood of our soldiers.”