India's Modi faces calls for resignation over Rafale jet deal

Pauline Gross
September 22, 2018

The French government had on Friday night said they were in no manner involved in the choice of the Indian industrial partners who have been, are being or will be selected by French companies.

Hollande's statement sharply contradicts the Indian government's stated position on the deal. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who also previously held responsibility for defence, said in a Facebook post on September 20 Gandhi's repeated allegations on the Rafale deal were a "campaign of falsehood".

Hollande's admission is the latest twist in one of the Modi's government's earliest and most high profile policy decisions.

"The PM personally negotiated & changed the #Rafale deal behind closed doors". Negotiations continued in January the following year, during French President Francois Hollande's visit to India, as both sides sought to arrive at an acceptable price.

It has also alleged that the PM helped Reliance get an offset contract worth Rs 30,000 cr from French manufacturer Dassault Aviation thereby overlooking the public sector HAL.

For that, the French firm picked Reliance and not Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the state-run giant that has been producing planes for decades, majority Russian under license. "Thanks to François Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to.Anil Ambani", Rahul Gandhi, the president of the main opposition Congress party, said in a tweet.

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In a statement released on Saturday, the Communist Party of India demanded the immediate formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee "so that the role of the Prime Minster and government is enquired into to find out the truth of the matter".

"The RM (Rafale Minister) tasked with defending corruption has been caught lying again". "We did not have a say in that", Hollande told investigative website Mediapart. Reliance Defence is not making components for the Rafales ordered by India but is building assemblies for Dassault business jets. When asked whether India had put pressure on Reliance and Dassault to work together, the ex-President said he was unaware and "only Dassault can comment on this".

"We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us", added Hollande, who was president of France from 2012 to 2017. "The PM has betrayed India". "He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers", he said.

"The Modi government has lied and misled Indians. Dassault Aviation and Reliance have built a plant in Nagpur for manufacturing parts for Falcon and Rafale aircraft", the company said.

"By hiding crucial facts on Rafale deal, is Modi govt not endangering national security?" In this framework, and in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India's Reliance Group.

The Congress said that after Mr. Raju's revelation the Defence Minister has "no moral authority to continue even for a second and reiterated its demand to investigate the deal by a JPC".

Other reports by GizPress

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