New Delhi: Hours after former Fench president François Hollande said that it was the Indian government which proposed Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as the partner in the Rafale deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he personally negotiated and changed the deal behind the closed doors. Also Read - World Environment Day: 'Reiterate Pledge to Save Our Planet's Rich Biodiversity', Says PM Modi
Stepping up the Congress party’s attack on PM Modi over the controversial Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi further said that PM Modi has dishonoured the blood of the soldiers. Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: These Masterstrokes of PM Modi Frighten China
Thanking François Hollande, Rahul Gandhi 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.”
The Congress president’s statement has come hours Hollande said that Dassault Aviation had no choice but to ally with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Industries when the Indian government itself proposed the latter.
“We did not have a say in that. The Indian government proposed this service group, and Dassault negotiated with Ambani. We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor we were given,” Hollande said in an interview to a media house. The interview was published in French and excerpts of Hollande’s interview were tweeted by French journalist Julien Boissou.
To Hollande’s statements on “who selected Reliance as a partner”, the Defence Ministry reiterated that the agreement between Dassault and Reliance was a commercial pact between and no government was involved in it.
“The report referring to former French president Mr. Hollande’s statement that the government of India insisted upon a particular firm as offset partner for the Dassault Aviation in Rafale is being verified,” the Defence Ministry said in a tweet, adding, “It is reiterated that neither government of India nor French government had any say in the commercial decision.”