Reliance Defence rejects Rahul’s charges, says ‘proposed MoU’ not on Rafale
New Delhi: Reliance Defence on Tuesday said the “proposed MoU” mentioned in a purported email cited by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his fresh allegations on the Rafale deal was a reference to its cooperation with Airbus Helicopter and had “no connection” with the fighter jet contract.
Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “treason” and violating the Official Secrets Act by acting as Anil Ambani’s “middleman” in the Rafale jet contract, citing an email to claim the businessman was aware of the deal days before India and France signed it.
“Purported email being referred by the Congress Party is regarding the discussion between Airbus and Reliance Defence regarding Civil & Defence Helicopter Programs under ‘Make in India’,” a Reliance Defence spokesperson said in a statement.
Gandhi released to the media an email dated March 28, 2015 purportedly written by Airbus executive Nicolas Chamussy to three recipients with the subject line “Ambani”.
He claimed the email showed Ambani visited then French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s office and mentioned an “MoU in preparation and the intention to sign during the PM visit (to France)”.
“The discussion on proposed MoU was clearly with reference to cooperation between Airbus Helicopter and Reliance. It had no connection whatsoever with Government to Government Agreement between France and India for 36 Rafale aircraft,” the Reliance Defence spokesperson said.
It is in public domain that Airbus Helicopter has partnered with Mahindra for the Military Helicopter Programme, the spokesperson added. “Also, for the record, the MoU for Rafale aircraft was signed between France and India on January 25 2016 and not in April 2015.
“From the above, it is evident that the facts are being deliberately twisted and reality being ignored,” the company said.