Nirmala lying on Rafale: Rahul

Nirmala lying on Rafale: Rahul

However, the former French president's comments appear to bolster long-standing allegations from the opposition Congress party that India's prime minister executed a deal that unduly benefited the Ambani family - which includes Anil Ambani's brother Mukesh Ambani, Asia's richest man.

Accusing the Prime Minister of playing with national interest, he said Narendra Modi was not serving the nation but the interests of Reliance. "PM personally negotiated and changed the Rafale deal behind closed doors". "We were given no choice, we took the partner which was appointed".

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who has been relentlessly pursuing the issue and was called a "Clown Prince" by Jaitley 24 hours earlier for not answering the finance mnister's 15 questions on the Rafale deal in connection with the Rafale row, did not mince words on Friday.

The Anil Ambani-led group is manufacturing aerospace components as part of the offset component of the Rafale deal. "Thanks to François Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to a bankrupt", Gandhi said in a tweet.

Congress leader Manish Tewari said, "President (Former) Francois Hollande should also enlighten us how the price went up from 590 crores in 2012 to 1690 crores in 2015 per Rafale fighter jet?".

Francois Hollande's claims have been contradicted by both the France government and Dassault Aviation, the maker of the Rafale jet.

The move prompted an outcry from Opposition, which has asked why a private firm, rather than the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, was given the opportunity to manufacture the jets.

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"The Modi government has lied and misled Indians".

The Defence Ministry said "unnecessary controversies" were being sought to be created following media reports regarding a statement purportedly made by Hollande concerning the selection of Reliance Defence as the offset partner by Dassault Aviation, the manufacturers of Rafale aircraft.

India's defence ministry wrote on Twitter that neither the Indian nor French government "had any say in the commercial decision".

The Congress said that after Mr. Raju's revelation the Defence Minister has "no moral authority to continue even for a second and reiterated its demand to investigate the deal by a JPC".

"It is clear why various defence ministers of this government have been lying; they want to protect PM Modi", he said. This is Dassault Aviation's choice, as CEO Eric Trappier had explained in an interview published in MINT newspaper on April 17, 2018.

The French media report quoted Hollande as saying "we did not have a say in this.the Indian government proposed this service group and Dassault negotiated with (Anil) Ambani group. Shame on you. You betrayed India's soul (sic)", Gandhi tweeted. 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.

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