The French government has immediately come out to contradict its former President Francois Hollande who had come up with the absurd theory that the French government was involved in choosing industrial partners for the Rafale deal. The government of France has clarified that its role was limited to ensuring the delivery and quality of the aircraft and in no way had the Indian government tried to impose Reliance industries as a partner on Dassault Industries. There has been another startling revelation by the French government which would shut up the Congress in India. The French government has revealed a startling fact that the Reliance Industries was the chosen partner by Dassault Aviation way back in 2013 in the Congress led UPA era. Dassault had been shortlisted as the lowest bidder in the 126 aircraft deal and it chosen to go ahead with Reliance group as its partner.
The report referring to fmr French president Mr. Hollande's statement that GOI insisted upon a particular firm as offset partner for the Dassault Aviation in Rafale is being verified.
It is reiterated that neither GoI nor French Govt had any say in the commercial decision.
— Defence Spokesperson (@SpokespersonMoD) September 21, 2018
Dassault’s chief executive officer Eric Trappier way back in 2013 expressed the sentiments that Reliance Industries was going to be its key partner in the all important aircraft deal. Trappier had gone on to add that Dassault was going to work with Reliance to work on the Rafale deal which could cost the country over $25 billion. Trappier had stated in 2013 during the Aero India show that year in Bangalore, “We have a special partnership with Reliance company. It, as a private company, wants to be in the defence sector and we are supporting this partnership… We will create a JV (joint venture) company with Reliance in India”. The two sides had also agreed to sign a deal for manufacturing the wings of the Rafale jet in India which would have marked Reliance Industries entry in the defense sector. HAL and Dassault Aviation had some unresolved issues due to which the deal could not be signed between the two. Later on, some developments took place due to which Mukesh Ambani chose not to go in the defense sector while Anil Ambani decided to fill in his place instead. This should be enough to shut up the Congress which has gone on crying hoarse over the terms of the Rafale deal.
The French government has also issued another clarification which will quieten not only Francois Hollande but also the Congress in India. The clarification by the French government has come as a blessing in disguise for the Indian government, it not only debunks the theories of Congress which are related to the Dassault Aviation and Rafale deal but will for once and for all also kill all the rumors doing the rounds in Indian and French media houses.
The statement issued by the French government clearly states these things in its release which read, “The French government is in no way involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners that have been, are or will be selected by French manufacturers. In accordance with the Indian procurement procedure, French industrialists are free to choose the Indian industrial partners they consider the most relevant.” This rebuttal by the French government has come at an opportune time considering the Rafale deal is currently a hotly debated topic in the Indian media and accusations by the former French President Francois Hollande had created further tensions for the Indian government.
Similarly, Dassault Aviation also came out with a press release stating that choice of offset partner was taken by the Company itself and government of either countries were not involved in choosing the offset partner.
Read this as well please pic.twitter.com/mAEwJB8rnZ
— M.J. Akbar (@mjakbar) September 22, 2018
The excitement over the Rafale deal will die soon enough as even the Congress understands that Rafale jets are important for India’s defense. India needs Rafale and needs them quick, the sooner the Congress realize their mistake the better it will be for the Indian security forces. The French government has been very supportive and has stood shoulder to shoulder with their Indian counterparts which is commendable. Reliance Industries foray in the defense sector will be a huge boost to India and will enhance its defense capabilities, something which should have happened a long time back.