François Hollande tells French media outlet Dassault had no choice in selecting Rafale deal partner; MoD 'verifying' report

Hollande’s reported statement contradicts the Indian government’s claim that the agreement between Dassault and the Indian firm was a commercial pact between two private parties

FP Staff September 21, 2018 20:05:35 IST
François Hollande tells French media outlet Dassault had no choice in selecting Rafale deal partner; MoD 'verifying' report

The defence ministry on Friday said it is 'verifying' a statement attributed to former French president François Hollande, which said that Dassault Aviation did not have a choice in selecting its partner in the Rafale deal.

The defence ministry's statement said —

In an article published by French journal Mediapart, Hollande on a question about who selected a particular Indian firm as a partner and why, said it was the Indian government that proposed the firm’s name and Dassault had no choice but to take the company given to it.

“We did not have a say in that. The Indian government proposed this service group, and Dassault negotiated with Ambani. We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor we were given,” said Hollande. The interview was published in French and excerpts of Hollande’s interview were tweeted by French newspaper LeMonde journalist Julien Boissou.

Hollande’s reported statement contradicts the Indian government’s claim that the agreement between Dassault and the Indian firm was a commercial pact between two private parties and the government had nothing to do with it.

Franois Hollande tells French media outlet Dassault had no choice in selecting Rafale deal partner MoD verifying report

File image of a Rafale jet. Wikimedia Commons

Congress leader Manish Tewari on Friday immediately retweeted this article and asked Hollande: “President (Former) Francois Hollande should also enlighten us how the price went up from 590 crores in 2012 to 1690 crores in 2015 per Rafale fighter jet? Escalation of a mere 1100 crores. I am sure the Euro equivalent would not be a problem to calculate.”

In a statement on Twitter, the Congress also said that Hollande's statement "exposes the web of lies spun by the Modi government".

Responding to the Congress' attacks on the government for keeping Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) out of the Rafale deal under an offset clause, both finance minister Arun Jaitley and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman have been constantly stressing that Dassault and the Indian firm got into an agreement on their own.

Former chairman and managing director (CMD) of HAL, T Suvarna Raju, in an interview to a media house claimed that Dassault and HAL had signed the mutual workshare contract and given it to the government. He further said that the life-cycle costs of the aircraft would have been cheaper if the aircraft were made in India.

However, contradicting this, defence sources on Thursday claimed disagreements between HAL and Dassault Aviation had led to the collapse of negotiations between the two in the Rafale fighter plane deal during the UPA term.

With inputs from ANI

Updated Date:

also read

Madrid court orders imprisonment of France footballer Lucas Hernandez
Sports

Madrid court orders imprisonment of France footballer Lucas Hernandez

Hernandez, a 2018 World Cup winner, was arrested four years ago for violating a court order banning him from contacting his girlfriend after a violent altercation between the two.

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra says he was sexually abused as a teenager
Sports

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra says he was sexually abused as a teenager

Evra said he had decided to make a public revelation in order to help children who may be in a similar situation.

Andy Murray hails 'unbelievable battle' after marathon victory over Frances Tiafoe
Sports

Andy Murray hails 'unbelievable battle' after marathon victory over Frances Tiafoe

At 3hr 45min it was the longest best-of-three match this year, the ATP said, eclipsing the 3hr 38min played by Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona final in April.