New Delhi, Nov 14: Senior Congress Leader Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said that the agreement to procure the 36 French Rafale fighter jets was not a government-to-government deal.
Addressing a press conference over the statement of Dassault CEO Eric Trappier, Sibal said “This is not a government-to-government deal, because no such procedure exists in France. France has never entered into a government-to-government defence deal. Moreover, it was not the French government which negotiated the deal with India.
“It was a deal between the government of India on one side and Dassault Aviation, a private entity on the other. Since the French government was not involved in the negotiations, how can it be government-to-government deal?” questioned Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
Hitting out at Prime Narendra Modi, Sibal said that the Union defence ministry of India was in dark about the biggest deal in the history of India’s defence purchase.
Besides saying the deal was made in gross violations of the Defence Procurement Procedure(DPP), Sibal said Dassault Aviation was a non-compliant company and as such was not entitled to be awarded the deal.
“Dassault neither gave any sovereign guarantee for the delivery of the jets nor did it offer to undertake responsibility for the jets that were to be manufactured in India. This made Dassault a non-compliant company and the Indian government cannot deal with a company which had become non-compliant,” he said.
The Congress leader also attacked Dassault CEO Eric Trappier for “lying”.
“Trappier says they entered into joint venture because they knew Reliance had land. But Reliance applied for land on June 16, 2015, much later to their agreement. When they entered the joint venture, they didn’t even know that Reliance was going to apply for land.
“He (Trappier) also said Dassault didn’t go with HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) because it didn’t have land. But the fact is HAL had not only applied for land it already had lot of land in the vicinity of the airport in Bengaluru.
“All of Trappier’s sayings are not true,” said Sibal on the Dassault CEO statement.