Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday once again hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the controversial Rafale deal. Citing a report from the Indian Express, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Globalised corruption. This
#Rafale aircraft really does fly far and fast! It’s also going to drop some big bunker buster bombs in the next couple of weeks.”
Gandhi asked the prime minister to, “tell Anil, there is a big problem in France.”
The Indian Express on Friday reported that two days before then French President Francois Hollande came to New Delhi as the Republic Day chief guest and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PM Modi for delivering 36 Rafale aircraft, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment entered into a deal to produce a film with Hollande’s partner and actor Julie Gayet.
Later that year, Ambani’s Reliance Defence became part of the offset programme of the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal through Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL), in which it holds a 51% stake. Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale, holds 49% stake in DRAL.
On January 24, 2016, Reliance Entertainment announced that it had entered into an agreement with Gayet’s firm, Rouge International, to jointly produce a French film.
On Thursday, Gandhi had reminded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that his ‘deadline’ for the minister to order a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal is inching closer. He tweeted, “Dear Mr Jaitley, Less than 6 hrs left for your deadline on the #Rafale JPC to run out. Young India is waiting. I hope you’re busy convincing Modi Ji and Anil Ambani Ji about why they should listen to you & approve this!” Gandhi tagged Jaitley in his tweet.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma had rejected Jaitley’s contention that the government had nothing to do with the selection of partners for offset supplies. He said vendors have to disclose how the offset contracts would be discharged under the defence procurement policy.