Already under Opposition fire over the Rafale fighter deal with France, the government has turned down a Russian request to make the Adani Group its partner for the joint manufacture of Rs 3,000-crore worth of AK-103 assault rifles for the Indian Army.
In April, the two governments had agreed that the Russian firm, Kalashnikov Concern, will only partner government-owned Indian Ordnance Factories.
Sources said the Defence Ministry last month rejected the Russian proposal on grounds that the foreign vendor did not have the option to select the Indian company in joint manufacturing partner, including transfer of technology, in inter-government agreements.
“We have conveyed to the Russians that if they insist on Adani as their partner, they should come through the tender route,” sources said.
To further its Make in India programme, the government had been keen on promoting the private sector in defence manufacturing, but the…