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

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

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

The Congress party said that the the French government knows that verbal interactions between former President Hollande and Indian interlocutors were minuted and would emerge.

While the French government said French companies have the full freedom to select Indian firms for the deal, Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, said it had made the decision to partner with Reliance Defence Ltd.

"It is very important for the prime minister now to either accept Mr. Hollande's statement or state that Mr. Hollande is lying and tell what the truth is", Congress president Rahul Gandhi said.

Economist Arun Shourie, in an exclusive interview with The Quint, said that Hollande's claims have confirmed everything that they (the critics) have been saying.

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.

HAL was the sole contender for being the local partner of Dassault Aviation, but when the deal was sealed in 2015 during Modi's Paris trip the Reliance Defense procured the contract.

On Saturday, Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet that the "PM and Anil Ambani jointly carried out a One Hundred & Thirty Thousand Crore SURGICAL STRIKE on the Indian Defence forces".

During a no-confidence motion debate on 21 July 2018, Rahul Gandhi had made bold and direct accusations against Narendra Modi. "Not once in the history of this country has any party chief addressed the PM of the country in such a manner", said Prasad.

But what's further interesting is that the statement by the French govt doesn't say anywhere that Hollande's statement about Rafale deal is incorrect or wrong. Well, during the deal between French and India were on, Hollande and Ambani's got into a new deal.

A report in a French investigative website on Friday quoted the former French president as saying that the Indian government proposed the name of Anil Ambani's Reliance Group as Dassault Aviation's offset partner. Before anyone thinks the Prime Minister was referring to kickbacks associated with some defence deals, the air must be cleared.

India's defence ministry wrote on Twitter that neither the Indian nor French government "had any say in the commercial decision".

"Defence Minister has been called out again! He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers".

Noting that it is risky to speak against the central government, an employee in the HAL engine division said most of the employees had defended the government in the case prior to the remarks by Hollande.

The BJP and the Congress are involved in a bitter war of words over the alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal.

The French security experts that Mediapart.fr spoke to expressed serious concerns on the future of the partnership between Dassault and Anil Ambani's Reliance.

Pressure from the IAF over the urgent need to replace its fast-depleting squadron of fighter aircraft and the possibility of restarting the entire bidding process if the entire contract with Dassault was to be scrapped led the Modi government to by only 36 Rafale aircraft from the French.

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