French Media Report Suggests Partnership With Reliance As Imperative And Mandatory

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New Delhi: Difficulties for the Modi government far from getting over with French media report suggesting that a senior official in Dassault Aviation saw the partnership with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group as “imperative and mandatory” to getting the “export contract” with India for the Rafale aircraft.

Mediapart quoted an internal Dassault Aviation document detailing a presentation that deputy chief executive officer LoïkSegalen gave to worker representatives explaining the rationale for setting up a joint venture in Nagpur with Reliance Aerospace.

During the presentation, the report said, Segalen described the joint venture as a “contrepartie” to getting the “export contract India”.Contrepartie roughly translates to “compensation” or to refer to something given as compensation. This could be a reference to the offsets.

Elections are due to take place in five states in November and December leading up to the 2019 general election. The attorney general also argued against the court seeking details of the of the decision-making process and said the “matter pertains to national security and even he would not be supplied with any information pertaining to the deal”.

The petitions have been filed by lawyers VineetDhanda and ML Sharma. AamAadmi Party’s RajyaSabha MP Sanjay Singh has also moved the top court against the Rafale deal; Sanjay Singh has sought a court order for the formation of a special team to probe the matter under the Supreme Court’s oversight.

The AAP leader said SIT should probe “as to how the figure of 36 fighter jets was arrived at without the formalities associated/ with such a highly sensitive defence procurement”.

The NDA’s decision to enter an $8.7 billion government-to-government deal with France to buy the 36 Rafale warplanes made by Dassault was announced in April 2015, with an agreement signed a little over a year later. This replaced the previous United Progressive Alliance regime’s decision to buy 126 Rafale aircraft, 108 of which were to be made in India by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

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