On April 10, Prime Minister Modi visited France and announced the deal for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in flyaway condition. This was done unilaterally without following the DPP, without any inter-governmental agreement and in the absence of India’s Defence Minister. However, Mr Anil Ambani, owner of Reliance Defence Limited(RDL), was present in France during the Prime Minister’s visit. Anil Ambani-led RDL described the allegations as “baseless” and “unfounded” and asserted that Mr. Ambani was part of the PM’s delegation as a member of the Indo-French CEO Forum. “Shri Anil Ambani is a member of Indo- French CEO Forum. In the said meeting, more than 20 CEOs were present,” said a statement from the RDL. The Congress leader claimed that while the UPA government had signed the Rafale deal as a joint venture between its French maker, Dassault Aviation, and India’s HAL, the Modi government cancelled the entire process on 30 July, 2015. This in turn, alleged the Congress party, helped RDLimited as they entered into a joint venture with Dassault.
Giving out a chronological sequence of the deal, the Congress party said while India signed the $8.7 billion deal on September 23 last year, just 10 days later, on October 3, 2016, Reliance Defence Limited entered into a joint venture with the French fighter plane maker.
- Is it not true that as per UPA negotiated price, the cost of one plane was Rs 526.1 crores whereas under NDA, the plane is costing Rs 1570 crores?
- Why was transfer of technology for HAL not insisted?
- “Has the joint venture between Dassault and Reliance Defence been cleared by the Union Cabinet?” asked the Congress leader.