In what can be a major embarrassment to Narendra Modi & his government, ex-French president FranÃ§ois Hollande has stated that ‘Indian Govt proposed Reliance, we had no choice’. Hollande made these comments in his latest interview to a leading French newspaper. With such comments directly coming from the former French president, tempers arose in India between the government and Opposition.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who has been targeting Modi sarkar over Rafale deal with France, has now got a shot in the arm. Rahul and Opposition leaders have intensified the attack against BJP.
“The PM personally negotiated & changed the #Rafale deal behind closed doors. Thanks to FranÃ§ois Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to a bankrupt Anil Ambani. The PM has betrayed India. He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers,” said Rahul Gandhi.
However, the incumbent French government has stepped in and tried to ‘cover’ it up. It clarified saying that there is no role in selecting Indian partners for Rafale.
But what’s further interesting is that the statement by the French govt doesn’t say anywhere that Hollande’s statement about Rafale deal is incorrect or wrong. It just stated the procedure for selection of offset partners by French firms.
Hollande has certainly dropped a big bomb over Rafale deal. All these clearly indicate a big embarrassment and trouble for Narendra Modi. Congress has been accusing Modi of helping Anil Ambani by recommending him to then French Government for Rafale.
What is Rafale Deal?
India had purchased 36 multirole fighter aircrafts for a price estimated to be worth Rs 58,000 crore (7.8 billion Euros) by The Defence Ministry of India from France’s Dassault Aviation.
The allegation by Rahul Gandhi is that Modi had nominated Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Industries as France’s India partner in the Rafale jet deal.
During a no-confidence motion debate on 21 July 2018, Rahul Gandhi had made bold and direct accusations against Narendra Modi. The prime minister dismissed the allegations as ‘childish’ as the program’s interactions are between the governments of India and France, without any middlemen. Both governments had officially refuted the charges then.
But with the confession of former French president that India had recommended Reliance Defence Industries and France didn’t have an option, it is likely to stroke a major political controversy.