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Rafale Deal: We chose Ambani by ourselves, decreased price by 9 per cent, says Dassault CEO

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Shashikant Sharma | Updated on: 13 Nov 2018, 01:41:12 PM
Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier (ANI Photo)

New Delhi:

Amid the Rafale deal controversy over pricing and choosing Anil Ambani’s 'inexperienced' Reliance as Indian offset partner, Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier has backed the Narendra Modi government's claims.

In an interview with ANI, the CEO of Dassault Aviation – the company responsible for manufacturing the Rafale fighter aircraft – said that it was the decision of the company to choose Reliance as one of its offset partners.

“We chose Ambani by ourselves. We already have 30 partners other than Reliance. The IAF is supporting the deal because they need the fighter jets for their own defence to be at the top,” Trappier said.

Commenting on the issue of pricing, the Dassault CEO said that he quoted exactly the same price but since it was a government to government deal, negotiations happened and he had to decrease the price by 9 per cent.

Also Read | Rafale Deal: CCS approval was taken, due process followed, government tells petitioners

“Price of 36 was exactly the same when you compare with 18 flyaway. 36 is the double of 18. So as far as I was concerned, it should have been double the price. But because it was govt to govt, there was a negotiation, I had to decrease price by 9 per cent,” he said.

Dictated Interviews, Manufactured Lies: Congress

Reacting to the Trappier's clarification, the Congress said that Dassault CEO himself is a co-accused, therefore, his statement doesn't hold any value.

"‘Dictated Interviews’ & ‘Manufactured Lies’ cannot suppress the #Rafale Scam! First rule of Law- Mutual Beneficiaries & Co-accused’s statements hold no value. Second Rule:-Beneficiaries & Accused can’t be Judge in their own case. Truth has a way of coming out," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala wrote on Twitter.

The clarification from the Dassault CEO came a day after the Modi government handed over documents related to the decision making procedure on procurement deal of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France to the Supreme Court.

In the documents, the government claimed that the process laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2013 was followed in the procurement of the Rafale aircraft.

The government document also said that it had no role to play in choosing Anil Ambani's Reliance defence as Indian offset partner of Dassault Aviation - the French company responsible for the manufacturing of Rafale aircraft.

The clarification also came as a big relief for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the election season as the Opposition Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi has been using the Rafale issue to attack the saffron party.

Also Read | Fear of probe in Rafale deal real reason behind CBI chief Alok Verma’s ‘sacking’?

The Congress chief had alleged irregularities in the deal and accused the prime minister of corruption. The Gandhi scion claimed that the Modi government paid a very high price for one aircraft as compared to what was negotiated during the erstwhile UPA government in 2012.

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First Published : 13 Nov 2018, 11:07:46 AM