An internal document of Dassault Aviation, the makers of the Rafale fighters, shows that the French firm chose to engage Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as the offset partner in India to win the Rafale deal, according to a report by French investigative journal Mediapart.
The Mediapart article says the document shows a top Dassault official, Loik Segalen, had explained to its staff on May 11, 2017, that the joint venture was a "trade-off", that was "imperative and mandatory" to win the Rafale deal.
Dassault Aviation, however, has denied the report. "This joint-venture, Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL), was created February 10, 2017. Other partnerships have been signed with other companies such as BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL,... Other negotiations are ongoing with a hundred-odd other potential partners," Dassault said in a press release.
The new allegations surfaced on a day when Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was headed to France where she will visit a Dassault factory where the 36 Rafale aircraft are being manufactured for India. Ms Sitharaman will also meet her French counterpart, Florence Parly.
Here are the highlights of the story:
The #GreatRafaleCoverUp has begun. To try and show the deal is legit, Raksha Mantri will need to generate minutes of imaginary meetings held between the French & our MOD & both sides will need to agree on a common story to be spun to the media.- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 11, 2018
RM left for France last night.
- I told (Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley, that let us set up a JPC and probe the Rafale deal... the facts will automatically be revealed... they ran away... they literally ran away...
- So, the youth, farmers, small traders of India, let me tell you this, that the prime minister of India did "chowkidaari" for Anil Ambani... and in turn looted the money allocated for the Indian Air Force and paid Anil Ambani the money.
- And this is not the only case... in time we will let you know of other such cases where the prime minister is directly involved in corruption.
- No less than a former French President has stated that the PM of India is corrupt. The media that is questioning this is being suppressed
- Dassault is sitting on a huge contract. Dassault will say what the Indian govt wants it to say. Their internal document clearly stated that PM has said without this compensation the deal will not be done
- Rafale company's senior executive has clearly stated that choosing Anil Ambani's company was a compensation for the purchase of Rafale
- They have admitted that it was 'imperative and obligatory' for Dassault Aviation to accept this compensation in order to obtain Rafale contract
- Anil Ambani who never made a plane in his life - is now under debt. There cannot be a clearer case of corruption than this. PM Modi has put the Air Force's money and the nation's money in (Anil) Ambani's pocket.
- PM said he wanted to become chowkidaar (watchman). French President Macron personally told me that there is no secret understanding in the Rafale deal.
- First the (former) French President said that Anil Ambani should get the Rafale deal. Now a senior executive from Rafale has confirmed this.
- The executive, Dassault Aviation's second most powerful, said: "It was imperative and obligatory to obtain the deal."