Hours after former France President Francois Hollande said that the Indian government had chosen Anil Ambani's Reliance as the interlocutor for Rafale, the French Government and aeronautics company Dassault Aviation has given out a statement that contradicts the claims.
The intergovernmental agreement signed on September 23, 2016, between the French government and Indian Govt for the supply to India of 36 aircraft burst covers only obligations of the French government to ensure the delivery and quality of this equipment.
The French government is in no way involved in the choice of industrial partners in India who have been, are or will be selected by French industrialists. In accordance with the procedure of acquiring Indian, French industrialists have complete freedom to choose the Indian industrial partners that they consider the most relevant and present for approval to the Indian Government offsets projects they want to achieve in India with these local partners in order to fulfil their obligations in this regard.
In this case, agreements have already been signed by French industrialists with very many Indian, public and private, companies under Indian law.
Meanwhile, in a press release, the company wrote, “Dassault Aviation provides the following clarifications regarding the contract signed in 2016 for 36 Rafale aircraft to India.” Furthermore, the company has given pointwise clarification for the same.
This comes after former French president on Friday afternoon stated that Indian government proposed Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale jet fighter deal.
"We (French government) did not have a say in this. The Indian government proposed this (Anil Ambani's Reliance) group, and Dassault [the company that manufactured the jets] negotiated with Ambani. We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us," said the former France President.
The Indian government has issued a response to his statements, making it clear that 'neither Government of India nor the French Government had any say in the commercial decision'.
Earlier on Saturday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Taking to Twitter, the Congress President wrote: