Former French president Francois Hollande’s comment that the Indian government had proposed Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the India partner in the Rafale jet deal giving no choice has created a political controversy in the country. Congress President Rahul Gandhi slammed PM Modi, saying he betrayed the country. Mr Gandhi wrote on Twitter, “The PM personally negotiated & changed the Rafale deal behind closed doors (sic). Thanks to Francois Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to a bankrupt Anil Ambani. The PM has betrayed India. He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers.” PM Modi’s bitter critic, Arvind Kejriwal, said how further can the country be taken for a ride.
On Friday, French journal Mediapart had quoted France’s ex-President Francois Hollande as saying: “We did not have a say in this… the Indian government proposed this service group and Dassault negotiated with (Anil) Ambani group. We did not have a choice, we took the partner who was given to us.”
The French government on Friday issued a statement, saying they were not involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners. “The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies,” the statement read.