The Congress led opposition and left-liberal media establishment mislead people repeatedly over Rafale deal. The opposition raised primarily two concerns about Rafale deal, the first being the price of the deal which Congress claimed is substantially higher than the previous deal negotiated by UPA government. The second being why Anil Ambani led Reliance Defense was preferred over state led Hindustan Aeronautics limited. The second issue has already been cleared by the Rafale and Defense ministry that Dassault Aviation was free to choose offset partners and government has no interference in it. In an interview with ANI, CEO of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier confirmed the claim made by government and independent analyst over the first issue that the rate at which NDA government bought Rafale is 9 percent cheaper than what was agreed by UPA government.
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2018
“Price of 36 was exactly the same when you compare with 18 flyaway. 36 is double of 18, so as far I was concerned, it should have been double of the price. But because it was government to government, there was some negotiation, I had to decrease price by 9 percent. The price of Rafale in flyaway condition is less expensive in the 36 contract than the 126 contract,” said Eric Trappier. The price Rahul Gandhi quoted was the price of hardware of fighter aircraft without weapons and India specific equipment. After adding the price of these, the price of current aircrafts is 9 percent lower but Rahul Gandhi either intentionally quoted the price of basic hardware wrong or he is ignorant about the fact that fighter aircrafts needs weapons and many more additions in basic hardware.
On the offset front, a small percentage of total offset contracts worth 850 crores were awarded to Reliance Defense. Dassault Aviation was free to choose the companies for offset deals and it chose Reliance Defense among many others. However, opposition made it a political issue and started spreading lies and propaganda through its stooges in media. “The PM of India is a corrupt person. He awarded Rs. 30,000 crores to Anil Ambani. There is a clear-cut case against the PM,” said Rahul Gandhi in a press conference. The statement by Rahul Gandhi is a blatant lie and falls short on facts because the total offset obligation is worth Rs. 30,000 crores and Reliance Defense awarded only 3 percent of total offset contract. These lies were perpetuated by a section of media which was fed by Congress establishment when they were in power. Previously, Dassault aviation issued a press release in which it clearly stated that choosing offset partner was Dassault’s call with no involvement of Government or Defense Ministry. The companies chosen for offset contracts include BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTE and negotiations are going on with more than 70 companies for offset contracts. The blatant lies and ignorance of Rahul Gandhi is the major problem with Rafale deal not crony capitalism or corruption.
The audit for Rafale deal is yet to take place and the CAG will decide whether it was transparent and profitable or not. The government has already submitted relevant documents to Supreme Court of India for cross verification of the deal. The documents of the deal are in hands of apex court of the country as well as CAG, the most powerful body to check corruption in any deal. But Congress led opposition and its cronies in the media are spreading lies about the deal. Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shorie became defense experts overnight to accuse Modi government of corruption. This selective opposition disregards all the facts presented by defense ministry, credible defense experts, French government and the Dassault itself. If the apex court and CAG will give clean chit to government on the Rafale deal, they will accuse the court of being corrupt and elitists same as they did when PM Modi got clean chit in Gujarat riots case. These activists, opposition and media will also criticize CAG if they found no ‘scam’ in the deal just as they blamed the institution when it exposed the corruption of UPA government in Coal and 2G scams.
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