New Delhi: A day after former France president Francois Hollande claimed that the Indian government proposed Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in Rafale jet fighter deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying,”He (PM Modi) along with Anil Ambani jointly carried out a “surgical strike” on the defence forces.” Also Read - Coronavirus: Total Positive Cases Climb to 1024, Death Toll Reaches 27, State Borders Sealed | Top Points
“The PM and Anil Ambani jointly carried out a One Hundred and Thirty Thousand Crore, SURGICAL STRIKE on the Indian Defence forces. Modi Ji you dishonoured the blood of our martyred soldiers. Shame on you. You betrayed India’s soul,” Gandhi tweeted on Saturday. Also Read - 'Stand Together With Govt But Sudden Lockdown Created Immense Panic', Rahul Gandhi Writes to PM
Meanwhile, the French government and Dassault Aviation (the makers of the Rafale jets) had earlier in the day contradicted Hollande’s claims and denied their involvement in the choice of Indian industrial partners in the multi-million dollar jet contract.
“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.
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.”