Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Hollande’s truth on Rafale can’t have two versions, says Arun Jaitley

Hollande’s truth on Rafale can’t have two versions, says Arun Jaitley

Subsequent writings, including exclusively in this blog, had talked of Rafale forever sullying the ruling BJP's reputation much as Bofors has, over time, come to signify Congress party corruption.

The MoD statement starts by implying that Hollande was motivated by a "conflict of interest" relating to his personal life. The Reliance Entertainment will produce a film with Hollande's partner and actor Julie Gayet.

Pressure from the IAF over the urgent need to replace its fast-depleting squadron of fighter aircraft and the possibility of restarting the entire bidding process if the entire contract with Dassault was to be scrapped led the Modi government to by only 36 Rafale aircraft from the French.

"This is Dassault Aviation´s choice, as (Dassault) CEO Eric Trappier explained in an interview published in MINT newspaper on April 17", the company, which also makes Falcon business planes, said in a statement.

NDTV later reported that Hollande's office said he stood by his remarks made to Mediapart.

Francois Hollande was president when Modi visited France and signed an $8.7 billion deal for Dassault Aviation Rafale aircraft in 2016. 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. However, they underline its linguistic ambiguity.

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The defence ministry too made the same argument on Saturday that Indian government had no role in the selection of the offset partner, which it said was a commercial decision of the original equipment maker. "This does not address Hollande's implicit allegation that New Delhi violated its own acquisition procedure", pointed out the observer. A flurry of explanations being offered by the Modi government and Dassault make absolutely no sense.

The French company said: "Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India's Reliance Group. The current government and Dassault have clarified things", said Prasad.

As per Defence Offset Guidelines, the foreign OEM is free to select any Indian company as its offset partner. In DRAL, Reliance holds a 51% stake.

"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". "Incidentally, media reports of February 2012 suggest that Dassault Aviation, within two weeks of being declared the lowest bidder for procurement of 126 aircraft by the previous Government, had entered into a pact for partnership with Reliance Industries in defence sector". "Thanks to Francois Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to.Anil Ambani (the billionaire chairman of Reliance Group)". "But, India can not dictate terms to even Nepal and Bangladesh", he said, adding that Dassault - manufacturer of Rafale - "were horrified" about HAL's capabilities to manufacture the aircraft.

Reliance Group's involvement in the Rafale controversy relates to its selection as one of Dassault's offset partners. The "Defence Offset Guidelines" of DPP 2016, clause 4.1 in Indian Offset Partners (IOP) reads: "Indian enterprises and institutions and establishments engaged in the manufacture of eligible products and/or provision of eligible services, including DRDO, are referred to as the Indian Offset partner (IOP)".

Gandhi also alleged that Reliance had no experience making fighter jets and was not in a financial position to receive such a prominent, so-called "offset" contract, which requires companies to invest additional money in India. "It is very important for the PM now to either accept Hollande's statement and say that he is telling the truth or that Hollande is not telling the truth and here is the truth", Gandhi said.

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