Earlier Tuesday, Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi accused the PM Modi of acting as a “middleman” of Anil Ambani in the Rafale jet deal. He cited the e-mail to claim Ambani was aware of the MoU before India and France signed it. He also accused the PM of “treason”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dismissed Rahul Gandhi’s allegations against the PM Narendra Modi on the Rafale jet deal. BJP referred to Rahul Gandhi’s allegations as the height of shamelessness and irresponsibility and asserted that the e-mail he cited to criticise the prime minister referred to some chopper deal and not the purchase of the fighter aircraft.
Senior party leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also put the European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, whose internal e-mail was cited by the Congress president, in a dock, saying Airbus is under a needle of suspicion in deals finalised during the previous UPA government.
He asked Gandhi to reply how he got hold of the company’s internal communication and accused him of acting as a “lobbyist” of overseas firms.
A Reliance Defence spokesperson said, “Purported email being referred by the Congress party is regarding the discussion between Airbus and Reliance Defence regarding Civil & Defence Helicopter Programs under ‘Make in India'”
He also said: ‘The discussion on proposed memorandum of understanding (MoU) was clearly with reference to cooperation between Airbus Helicopter and Reliance. It had no connection with government to government agreement between France and India for 36 Rafale aircraft.’
“It is already in public domain that Airbus Helicopter has partnered with Mahindra for the Military Helicopter Program. The MoU for Rafale aircraft was signed between France and India on 25 January 2016 and not in April 2015. From the above, it is evident that the facts are being deliberately twisted and reality being ignored.’