Cong Posts 2015 Video of Dassault Boss, Fresh Row Erupts on Rafale

Congress released another video of former Foreign Secy Jaishankar suggesting that HAL was a part of the deal.

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The Congress on Monday, 24 September, intensified its offensive against the Modi government on Rafale issue.

Congress released old videos, from 2015, of Dassault CEO Eric Trappier and India’s former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, both suggesting that the Rafale deal was on with public-sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as its partner, a few days before the deal for 36 fighter jets was finalised on 10 April, 2015.


Dassault Aviation Presser on 25 March, 2015

The video which has been tweeted by Congress has Dassault Aviation CEO, Eric Trappier, speaking in the presence of Indian Air Force officers and HAL officers.

Trappier can be heard saying, “We are in agreement for the responsibilities sharing, considering as well as conformity with the request for proposal in order to be in line with the rules of this competition.”

Trappier can further be heard stating, “I strongly believe a contract finalisation and signature could come very soon.”

Congress demanded Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s resignation for lying to the nation.


The Rafale deal for the purchase of 36 jets was signed by Modi government on 10 April, 2015 after talks with then French President Francois Hollande.

The opposition has been questioning why was HAL out of the negotiations after PM Modi’s France trip in 2015 when the company was a part of the negotiations before 2015.

Congress also released former Foreign Secretary Jaishankar’s video from 8 April, 2015 in which he mentions that HAL was a part of the deal.


‘Discussions Are Underway Between French Company, MoD and HAL’

In a press briefing on 8 April, 2015 – a day before PM Modi’s visit to France, Germany and Canada – former Foreign Secretary Jaishankar said:

In terms of Rafale, my understanding is that there are discussions under way between the French company, our Ministry of Defence, the HAL which is involved in this. These are ongoing discussions. These are very technical, detailed discussions. We do not mix up leadership level visits with deep details of ongoing defence contracts. That is on a different track. A leadership visit usually looks at big picture issues even in the security field.
Former Foreign Secretary Jaishankar

In the new deal, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence became Dassault’s local partner.

Earlier, on Friday, 21 September, former French President Francois Hollande dropped a bombshell when he said that his government was not given a choice in selecting a local partner for Dassault Aviation. He had further said that the Indian government proposed Reliance’s name.

Since then, Opposition parties have been attacking the government for favouring Reliance Group in the Rafale deal.

(With inputs from PTI)

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