Rafale Row: French Website Publishes Dassault ‘Internal Documents’
A French aviation website, claiming access, has uploaded two alleged internal Dassault documents, that the French publication Mediapart had earlier referenced to as the “secret Dassault internal document”, sparking a new controversy on the Rafale deal. Mediapart had reported that the documents showed that a deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence was “obligatory” for the aviation company to get the deal.
The website, Portail Aviation, uploaded images of the two documents, that were allegedly published by two unions of Rafale-maker Dassault, the CFDT and the CGT, NDTV reported.
The documents, written in French, reportedly hold the minutes of a meeting held on 11 May, 2017, where Loik Segalenn, the number 2 of Dassault Aviation, spoke about the joint venture with Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence, the report added.
The CGT statement in this document, as translated by NDTV, reads as: “...a complete presentation of 'Make in India' with the creation of the enterprise 'Dassault Reliance Aerospace' at Nagpur was done for us. According to Mr (Loik) Segalen it was imperative and obligatory for Dassault Aviation to accept this "contrepartie" in order to obtain the export contract Rafale India.”
The NDTV report further translates the second union (CFDT's) statement, which says that talks about 'Make in India' was "the inevitable consequence" of the deal "imposed" by India, and that a joint venture with Reliance was created to “attain this objective”.
Former French President Francois Hollande had earlier said that France had no role in choosing Anil Ambani’s Reliance as the offset partner for Dassault.
(With inputs from NDTV)