Mumbai, Aug 21 : Concerned over the continued attacks by Congress President against PM Narendra Modi for benefiting Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group in the Rafale deal,the chairman of the group Anil Ambani has written a letter to Rahul Gandhi, and claimed that the “Congress has been misinformed, misdirected and misled by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals” on the offsets related to the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Congress party president Rahul Gandhi has attacked PM Modi on two counts : One is “escalated cost of fighter aircrafts” and another benefiting Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group with a Rs 45,000 crore offset deal, Anil Ambani said that Rafale fighter jets are not being manufactured by Reliance or Dassault Reliance Joint Venture.
Clarifying on the role of Reliance in offset exports/ work share, Ambani said Gandhi’s allegation that Reliance Defence was set up 10 days before the announcement on April 10, 2015 of government’s decision to purchase 36 French-manufactured Rafale jets links factually incorrect information “and is thus irrelevant and completely false.”
“The Reliance Group announced its decision to enter the defence manufacturing sector in December 2014-January 2015, months before the intention for purchase of Rafale aircraft. In February 2015, we informed the Indian Stock Exchanges of the companies we have incorporated,” Ambani said.
The release said that all the 36 fighter jets are to be 100 per cent manufactured in France and exported from France to India. Ambani clarified that not a single component worth a single rupee is to be manufactured by Reliance for these 36 Rafale jets.
The allegations relating to ‘lack of experience’ are, thus, irrelevant,” the release said and added that there is no contract from the Defence Ministry to any Reliance Group company related to 36 Rafale aircraft.
Ambani said allegations of Reliance benefitting by thousands of crores was a “figment of imagination, promoted by vested interests” and put simply, “no contract exists with the Government of India “
“Our role is limited to offset exports/ export obligations. More than 100 medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) will participate in this along with public sector undertakings like BEL and Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). This role strengthens Indian manufacturing capabilities and is in pursuance of the Offsets Policy introduced by the Congress-led UPA Government itself from 2005 onwards,” the release said.
Gandhi alleged that the deal had caused a loss of Rs. 45,000 crore to the exchequer compared to the price negotiated by the Congress-led UPA government. To take on Modi government, Congress will launch a month-long nationwide agitation from next week on the “Rafale scam” of the Modi government .