Dassault was told signing Reliance Defence was 'imperative and mandatory' to bag Rafale deal: Report 

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 10, 2018, 11.32 PM(IST)

File photo of the Rafale fighter jet. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The claim was made by French publication ‘Mediapart’ in an investigative report. 

A French media report on Wednesday claimed that an internal report of French aerospace major Dassault Aviation was presented with no option but to tie-up with Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as offset partner.

The report further said that it was 'imperative and mandatory' for Dassault Aviation to bag the Rafale jets contract.

The claim was made by French publication ‘Mediapart’ in an investigative report. 

Two years after signing the contract of sale of Rafale to India, the ultra-modern plant planned by the joint - venture of Dassault with its Indian partner Reliance comes down to a building that looks like a warehouse. While a new complaint was filed in New Delhi, a document obtained by Mediapart shows that Dassault considered this alliance as a "counterpart", "imperative and mandatory", to get the market," said Mediapart in its report.

Last month, former French President Francois Hollande was quoted by 'Mediapart' as saying that France was given "no choice" on the selection of the Indian partner for Dassault and the Indian government proposed the name of Reliance to partner with the French aerospace giant. The former French president's comments triggered a massive political row.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after talks with Hollande on April 10,  2015  in Paris. The final deal was sealed on September 23, 2016.

Sitharaman's visit to France comes in the backdrop of a huge controversy over the procurement of 36 Rafale jets.

The Congress has been alleging massive irregularities in the deal, saying the government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government when it was negotiating the deal.

The Congress has also been targeting the government over the selection of Anil Ambani firm as an offset partner for Dassault.

The government has vehemently rejected the allegations and asserted that it did not have any role in the selection of Reliance Defence.

(With inputs from DNA)