New Delhi, Sep 24 : The Congress party has released a video on Twitter showing Dassault Aviation Chairman Eric Trappier confirming that the company’s deal with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to manufacture 108 Rafale jets in India was in completion on March 25, 2015—just 17 days before PM Modi announced a new Rafale deal excluding HAL in Paris—in the presence of Indian Air Force and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited officers.
The video tweeted by the Congress shows Dassault chief Eric Trappier speaking on March 25, 2015, in the presence of the Indian Air Force and HAL officers.
Watch Éric Trappier, Chairman @Dassault_OnAir, on 25/03/15 speak, in the presence of IAF & HAL Chiefs, about responsibility sharing on the Rafale contract. 17 days later PM Modi gave the contract to Reliance.@nsitharaman should resign for lying to the nation. #RafaleModiKaKhel pic.twitter.com/6VoIcFjPlg
— Congress (@INCIndia) September 23, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new Rafale deal excluding HAL in Paris, France in presence of former French President Francois Hollande—in the presence of Indian Air Force and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited officers, about responsibility sharing on the Rafale contract.
Two days before the new deal was announced, even then Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told reporters that HAL was on board.
The Congress tweeted, “17 days later PM Modi gave the contract to Reliance”. The party demanded Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s resignation for “lying to the nation”.
On April 10, 2015, PM Modi announced the purchase of 36 Rafale jets after talks with then French president Francois Hollande.
The opposition asks how HAL was out despite being part of the negotiations with Dassault until just before the PM’s visit to France in April 2015. On April 8, then Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar held a press conference and said HAL was very much on board.
The political row over Rafale escalated after ex-French President Hollande’s bombshell last week that France had been given no choice about picking Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as Dassault’s offset partner in 2016.
Reliance Defence was formed just 12 days before the announcement of the deal.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi attacked the government over the revelation. “An ex-president of France is calling him (the prime minister of India) a thief. It’s a question of the dignity of the office of the prime minister,” he told a news conference in New Delhi.