Dassault Picked Reliance since it Had Land in Nagpur ‘Which Provided Access to Runway’, Report states
New Delhi: There’s a new development in the controversy involving the Rafale deal. According to a report on Tuesday, manufacturers Dassault picked Anil Ambani’s firm as a partner in India, “because it was registered with the MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs) and had land in Nagpur which provided access to the runway.” In its report, NDTV has quoted a top source at the French firm who spoke to the portal on the condition of anonymity.
Congress has recently alleged that the Centre overpaid for the plans and the deal lacked transparency. It has even gone to the CVC, demanding a probe. On its part, the Government has accused the Congress of making allegations without any evidence.
The plans to buy Rafale under MRCA deal for the 5th generation compatible Indian Air Force were first set up by the Manmohan Singh government. Back then, HAL was to help in the manufacture of 108 planes. Dassault has maintained it began talks with Mukesh Ambani’s firm in 2012, and later took the discussions to the company headed by his brother. Mukesh Ambani reportedly exited the Rafale landscape over the complicated procurement rules and his defence unit was taken over by Anil.
Last week itself, former French president Francois Hollande, who negotiated the Rafale deal with PM Modi, declared that it was the Indian government which proposed Reliance, adding, “we had no choice”. However, later, he said that it was for Dassault to comment on whether it had been pressured to choose Ambani’s firm as an offset partner. While Dassault has said it was not influenced to pick Ambani, speaking to the portal, sources said that they began engaging with Anil Ambani and the plans for the joint venture were firmed up at Aero India, just two months before the Rafale deal was announced by PM Modi.