Wed, 27 Mar 2019

New Delhi [India], Oct 16 (ANI): Giving a fresh twist to the political tussle over the Rafale fighter jets deal, a new document published by French defence writer Yves Pagot claimed that Dassault Aviation (DA) had in a letter to trade unions explained that it was mandatory for it to have a tie-up with any Indian company as a result of the off-set clause by the Indian government's Make in India policy.

The statement in the document said that it was offset that was made mandatory by the Indian government and not the company with which Dassault would need to tie up.

The latest document claims to have demolished the story by French media house -- Mediapart - which said that Dassault's partnership with Reliance was a mandatory condition to secure Rafale contract.

"Now Mediapart has obtained a Dassault company document in which a senior executive is quoted as saying the group accepted to work with Reliance as an "imperative and obligatory" condition for securing the fighter contract," the Mediapart article claimed.

But, now it seems that the word 'imperative and obligatory' got misrepresented. The document put up by Pagot, a former French Air Force official, on Portail Aviation is a summary of a meeting between DA and trade unions in which DA presented the effects of the "offsets" imposed on the defence contract. According to his LinkedIn profile Pagot is Vice President and Defence editor of Portail Aviation.

The internal document of Dassault said: "This is the union summary of a meeting (CEC, Central Committee of an Enterprise, mandatory under French law), presenting the impact of the offsets imposed on the defence contract (50% of contreparties) and of the "Make in India policy"."

The statement in the document makes it clear that Dassault has to honour the offsets that are imposed as a part of the Make in India policy and states how offsets are mandatory and not any company.

Demolishing Mediapart's claims Pagot tweeted saying: "Definitive clue that @Mediapart is spamming BS about pseudo "inner document" at DA (Dassault Aviation)."

While attacking the government on the Rafale deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had recently quoted Mediapart which alleged that choosing Reliance as an offset partner was mandatory according to an internal document of Dassault.

However, the new DA document will help government counter the allegations which, according to sources, clearly demolishes the story of Mediapart and Rahul Gandhi.

Congress party led by Gandhi has accused the government of an alleged scandal in the purchase of the 36 Rafale fighter jets. Gandhi has alleged that the motive was to favour industrialist Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence. Rahul Gandhi's claims got a fresh angle when former French President Francois Hollande in a quote to Mediapart said DA was forced to choose Reliance as a partner. (ANI)

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