The Rafale Deal issue was just fading away that two former ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha spoke up. They made an alleged claim that the deal was “a textbook case of criminal misconduct”. To this accusation, it was Anil Ambani’s company’s CEO who spoke up in defense and cleared the air.
The ministers said that the France deal of Rs 58000 crores deal was a bigger scam than Bofors. While India is wondering the factual correctness of this claim, it is more important to note that the previous accusations on Rafale deal were cleared by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha. She furnished proofs and documents to prove that the Rafale deal was crystal clear when she was slammed for performing a scam via it. The allegations were made by AICC President Rahul Gandhi.
The ministers said that Rafale is “not an ordinary scandal”. Testing the correctness of this statement is a futile task after Nirmala Sithyaraman has already validated the authenticity of the deal. Arun Shourie who had handled the Bofors matter said the Rafale deal is nothing in front of Bofors.
Another claim on Rafale Defence was the act of awarding offset contract to Anil Ambani’s company. As per the terms of Rafale deal, Dassault Aviation ( which is the manufacturer of the fighter jets and needs to manufacture aerospace components worth Rs. 30,000 crores in India) selected Reliance Defence as the company.
Rajesh Dhingra, chief executive officer of Reliance Defence and Aerospace said: “The defence ministry has no role in selection of Indian partners by foreign vendors. This has been position right from 2005 when offsets were first introduced. In more than 50 offset contracts signed till date, the same process has been followed. Therefore, it is a deliberate attempt to mislead,” Mr Dhingra said. He said that just because the company doesn’t have enough experience in manufacturing of defence plans, doesn’t mean it will never be able to do it. We are expanding our capabilities so we can curb on defence imports.
The claim was effectively dismissed and trashed by scores of factful information from various different sources. When will the opposition stop calling Rafale deal a scam? When will this baseless leg-pulling end?