Internal Dassault document reveals Rafale offset deal was a 'trade-off', 'imperative and obligatory', claims Shashi Tharoor, citing French media reports

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor Wednesday cited a French media report to allege that Dassault Aviation entered into an agreement with Reliance Defence as it was presented as a "trade-off" which was "imperative and obligatory" to "clinch the Rafale deal".

Sharing a report by French investigative website Mediapart, Tharoor wrote on Twitter:

According to NDTV, Mediapart—which claimed to have accessed a document on the matter—reported that Dassault considered this alliance as a "counterpart" to enter the Indian market.

Tharoor's tweet came even as the Congress continued targeting the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal. The Congress accused the Centre Wednesday of "manipulating" the process of Rafale fighter jet agreement by "punishing" bureaucrats who raised objections to the deal and rewarding "obliging officials".

Ahead of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's visit to France, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, too, stepped up his attack and questioned the visit.

Defence Minister Sitharaman is scheduled to leave for France on Wednesday on a three-day visit, which comes amid the backdrop of controversy over the purchase of 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.

The Opposition, led by the Congress, has been accusing the government of benefiting Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence Limited from the Rafale deal. The government and Reliance Defence have dismissed all the allegations as false.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Oct 10, 2018 23:09 PM

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