Reliance pact ‘mandatory’ for Dassault, says French media

Narendra Modi regime seems to be pshing into deep trouble with regard to Rafale deal, as every day it has been taking a new turn. Though ‘Dassault Aviation claiming that it has freely chosen to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group, indicating there was no pressure from Indian government in this regard, an internal Dassault Aviation document has revealed that the fighter jet manufacturer had no option but to enter into a joint venture with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence.

This has made it clear that the same was presented as “mandatory” and a “trade-off” if the French company had to bag the 36 Rafale jet deal. A report  in the French investigative website Mediapart,  states a presentation made by Dassault’s deputy chief executive officer Loik Segalen to the company’s staff representatives in Nagpur in May 2017, where he describes the Reliance partnership as “imperative and mandatory” to get the Rafale export contract to India.

Mediapart had reported, “It was truly a false inauguration. A symbolic ‘first stone’ was placed on pre-cut turf, under a tent of circumstance, in Nagpur, but it announced the beginning of construction of the ‘future factory’ of Dassault-Reliance.

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.

The Rs 60,000-crore Rafale deal is embroiled in the controversy since the stunning claim by former French President Francois Hollande that it was the Indian government that had asked him to make Reliance Defence as the offset partner.

The claim sparked a bitter war of words between ruling BJP and the Congress. The opposition has been demanding answer form the Narendar Modi government as to why a Anil Ambani’s rookie company was selected in place of the HAL. The government has responded by saying that there were delivery issues and it was actually the UPA government that had dropped the HAL.

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