To get Rafale contract, Dassault had to choose Reliance Defence: French Media
Dassault claims “alliance” with Reliance Defence was “imperative and mandatory” to clinch the deal.
The French media portal in its report said the Dassault Aviation’s document was based on what the aircraft manufacturer’s deputy CEO Loïk Segalen said during a presentation of the Dassault Reliance Aerospace joint venture to staff representatives in Nagpur in May 2017.
“It was imperative and mandatory for Dassault Aviation to accept this counterpart in order to get the contract,” the report quoted the purported document as saying.
The Modi government has consistently denied any government role in the offsets part of the Rafale contract, with top officials saying on record that a selection of Indian partners was an independent choice of French companies.
Translations of the report, written in French, are being monitored by the Indian government, even as Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and advocate Prashant Bhushan pitched the media report against the government on social media sites.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman left for France on Wednesday night on a three-day visit which comes amid a massive controversy over the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation.
Officials sources said Sitharaman will hold wide-ranging talks with her French counterpart Florence Parly on ways to deepen strategic cooperation between the two countries and the two sides will also deliberate on major regional and global issues of mutual interests.
Freely chose to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group: Dassault Aviation