Congress ‘misled’ on Rafale deal by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals, says Anil Ambani

Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani, in a letter last week to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, has said that his party had been “misinformed, misdirected and misled by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals” on the Rafale deal.

He termed all allegations “baseless, ill-informed and unfortunate” and expressed anguish over what he called “continued personal attacks” by Mr. Gandhi.

Mr. Ambani explained the role of Reliance in offset exports/work share with Dassault, and clarified that Rafale fighter jets were not being manufactured by Reliance or the Dassault Reliance Joint Venture.

‘Not a single component will be made by Reliance’
All 36 planes are to be 100% manufactured in France and exported to India and not a single component is to be manufactured by Reliance, said Mr. Ambani, clarifying that the allegations relating to “lack of experience” were thus irrelevant.

There is no contract from the Ministry of Defence to any Reliance Group company related to the 36 Rafale aircraft, said Mr. Ambani, adding that the allegations that Reliance had benefited by thousands of crores of rupees was a figment of imagination.

Mr. Ambani said: “Our role is limited to offset exports/export obligations. More than 100 medium, small and micro enterprises will participate in this, along with public sector undertakings like BEL and Defence Research and Development Organisation. This role strengthens Indian manufacturing capabilities, and is in pursuance of the Offsets Policy introduced by the Congress-led UPA Government itself from 2005 onwards.

“The Reliance Group announced its decision to enter the defence manufacturing sector in December 2014-January 2015, months before the intention for purchase of Rafale aircraft.”