PM betrayed India on Rafale deal, dishonoured our soldiers’ blood: Rahul

Evarado Alatorre
Setiembre 22, 2018

"He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers", he said.

Former French president Francois Hollande. Launching a tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he claimed that the PM had "waived off Rs 130,000 crore worth of loans taken by 15 richest people of India, but had refused to waive off poor farmers" loans forcing many of them to commit suicide.' During the same rally, in a matter of minutes, he changed the figure to Rs 150,000 crore. "We are absolutely convinced that the Prime Minister is corrupt", he said.

"The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies", a French foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement on Friday. "It is clear that the watchman was not only a partner but also an accused, -" Congress communications chief Randeep Surjewala tweeted. The Congress President demanded a joint parliamentary committee probe into it, saying Hollande could also be called to testify.

While all 36 Rafale fighters are being manufactured in France, an offset requirement, which is a part of an all-Indian defence procurement worth more than Rs 2 trillion, requires French companies that build the Rafale - Dassault, Thales and Safran - to plough back 50 per cent of the contract value into Indian defence production.

The Defence Ministry, however, continued to maintain that neither the government of India nor the French government had any say in the commercial decision.

India's defence ministry wrote on Twitter that neither the Indian nor French government "had any say in the commercial decision". Escalation of a mere 1,100 crore.

Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, had chosen Reliance Defence as its partner to fulfill offset obligations of the deal.

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The deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 and signed in 2016.

According to French website Mediapart, the ex-French President said that his government "did not have a say" in choosing Anil Ambani's company for the Rafale deal with India.

Elsewhere, union home minister Rajnath Singh advised Rahul Gandhi not to make allegations against the government on the Rafale issue without proof.

However, contradicting this, defence sources on Thursday claimed disagreements between HAL and Dassault Aviation had led to the collapse of negotiations between the two in the Rafale fighter plane deal during the UPA term.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said: "This Rafale deal is a scam if there was one".

"The Modi government has lied and misled Indians". The whole truth must come out now.

Hollande's comments drew sharp reactions from the opposition parties which have been accusing the government of massive irregularities in the deal and benefiting Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL) despite not having any experience in the aerospace sector.

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