Rafale deal will not be cancelled : FM Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that the Rafale deal will not be canceled irrespective of all the allegations.

“No question of the deal being scrapped. These jets are coming to India. They will enhance the combat ability of the IAF. By allegations, you don’t prove anything,” FM Arun Jaitley clarified saying that it will not be cancelled irrespective of all the allegations.

The slugfest over the Rafale deal continued on Sunday with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley citing conflicting media reports on Francois Hollande’s claims regarding a private firm becoming an as offset partner in the jet deal at the instance of Modi government and asserting that there was “no partnership as suggested by the former French President”.

Riding on Hollande’s remark to French website Mediapart that that the Indian government had proposed choosing a private firm as an offset partner, the opposition has been gunning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime with Congress president Rahul Gandhi even claiming that the former French President had called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “thief”.

While both the Defence Ministry and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad have maintained that the Indian government had no role in the choice of the offset partner, Jaitley took to social media to reiterate the assertions and pointed to Hollande’s “contrasting remarks”.

“A controversy is sought to be created on the basis of a statement made by Hollande, that the Reliance Defence ‘partnership’ with Dassault Aviation was entered at the suggestion of the Indian GOvernment.

“In a subsequent statement the former President has sought to suggest that Reliance Defence emerged on the scene after the agreement with the Indian Government was entered into. He has, in a subsequent statement, said that he is ‘not aware’ if government ever lobbied for Reliance Defence and that athe partners chose themselves’. Truth cannot have two versions,” wrote Jaitley in a blogpost.

Jaitley also cited the French government and Dassault Aviation (makers of the Rafale jets) of having “categorically denied the correctness of Hollande’s first statement” (made to Mediapart)

“The French government has stated that the decision with regard to the offset contracts of Dassault Aviation are taken by the company and not the Government. Dassault Aviation itself has suggested that they have entered into multiple contracts with several public sector and private sector companies with regard to the offset contracts and the decision is entirely theirs,” he said.

“Without commenting on the correctness or otherwise of a controversy in the French media, it may be mentioned that the former French President Hollande, is countering statement made against him with regard to a conflict of interest in his dealing with the Reliance Defence.

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