Truth Can’t Have 2 Versions: Arun Jaitley Questions Hollande On Rafale 

Rafale deal: Arun Jaitley has denied allegations made by Rahul Gandhi and Francois Hollande   - Sakshi Post

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today questioned former French President Francois Hollande's hugely controversial statement on the Rafale fighter jet deal, saying "truth cannot have two versions". Saying that Mr Hollande had made contradictory statements on the deal, Mr Jaitley, in a blog post on Facebook, reiterated that neither the Indian nor the French government played any role in the selection of industrialist Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as the domestic partner in the deal.

Mr Jaitley's counter comes amid a major political firestorm over Mr Hollande's statement to a French journal on Friday that the Indian government had proposed Reliance Defence as the Indian partner by Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation, and that France had "no say in that".

But, the former president, when asked whether India pressured Reliance and Dassault to work together, later told news agency AFP that he was unaware and "only Dassault can comment on this".

This, Mr Jaitley, says "contradicts his first questionable statement which the French Government and Dassault have denied".

The Finance Minister also took a swipe at the Congress which has seized Mr Hollande's statement to buttress its allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal.

"The Congress Party's official handle on 31.8.2018 had carried the tweet of one of its leader "It is evident that Anil Ambani bribed President Hollande through his actor-partner to get the Dassault partnership." For the Congress Party to allege that a former President had been bribed by an Indian business group and then use him as a primary witness, particularly when he is facing criticism for an alleged conflict of interest within his own country," Mr Jaitley wrote.

The Congress was quick to dismiss Mr Jaitley's remarks.


The government on Saturday firmly denied any role in the selection of Reliance Defence as a partner for Dassault while France said that it was "in no way involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners" for the contract. For its part, Dassault Aviation has said that the decision to partner with Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL) to fulfill offset obligations of the deal was its own.

PM Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after holding talks with then French president Hollande on April 10, 2015 in Paris. The opposition party has accused the government of choosing Reliance Defence over state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to benefit the private firm though it did not have any experience in the aerospace sector.

Agencies

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