Amid claims and counter claims over Rafale, Swamy's caution for government with a rider

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has said that the claims made by former French president Francois Hollande are “serious”.

Amid claims and counter claims over Rafale, Swamy's caution for government with a rider

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy has said that the claims made by former French president Francois Hollande over Rafale fighter jets deal between India and France are “serious”. The Rajya Sabha MP, however, added a rider saying, “if accurately reported”.

Taking to microblogging site Twitter, Swamy responded to a tweet mentioning about the claims made by the former French president. Retweeting the same, the BJP leader wrote, “This is serious if accurately reported.”

Former French president Francois Hollande has triggered a row by saying that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

In an interview to a media organisation, the former president said that the name of Reliance was proposed by the Indian government.

"We did not have a say in that. The Indian government proposed this service group, and Dassault negotiated with Ambani. We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor we were given," news agency ANI quoted Hollande as saying in the interview.

However, Dassault Aviation later issued a statement saying Reliance Group was chosen in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (2016) regulations.

According to the company, though the Rafale deal was a contract between the Indian and the French governments, it provided for a separate contract in which Dassault Aviation committed to making compensation investments (offsets) in India equivalent to 50 per cent of the value of the purchase.

"This contract is a government-to-government agreement. It provides for a separate contract in which Dassault Aviation commits to make compensation investments (offsets) in India worth 50% of the value of the purchase," the statement read.

It added, "This offsets contract is delivered in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 regulations. In this framework, and in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India's Reliance Group. This is Dassault Aviation's choice, as CEO Eric Trappier had explained in an interview published in MINT newspaper on April 17, 2018. This partnership has led to the creation of the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) joint-venture in February 2017."

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