Business Standard

Macron didn't counter Hollande's statement on Rafale: Congress


ANI New Delhi [India]
Former minister of science and technology and senior Congress leader Jaipal Reddy on Thursday said that no one from the current French authorities including President Emmanuel Macron has contradicted former France president Francois Hollande's claim on the controversial Rafale jets deal.
"For the first time on Wednesday, current French President avoided the question on Rafale and said he was not in charge at the time. In other words, he did not contradict the former French President's words. This consistent non-contradiction from current French authorities is absolutely tantamount to confirmation of facts," Reddy said while addressing a press conference.
Calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence on the issue, Reddy said," You are no longer contradicting the president of the Congress party(Rahul Gandhi). You are no longer contradicting the opposition in India. There is no ploy left in Paris. Don't confuse Pakistan with Paris. So, Mr. Modi owes an explanation to the nation about the statement made by the former president of France on Anil Ambani's company."
Reddy further said that in the last 70 years, he had never seen a head of state of a foreign major country make a statement that is contradictory to the one made by an Indian Prime Minister.
"Can anybody cite a single example of a former prime minister being contradicted by a former president of any major, responsible Western democracy? France is the only country that has stood beside India consistently. When we went nuclear, France is the only country which did not act in a hostile fashion. From De Gaulle to the present days, France has been a friendly country. So, if a president of France says something, the country has to sit up and take notice of it."
"The non-contraction by the current president of France is equivalent to an international revelation," Reddy further said.
Reddy claimed that "Prime Minister Modi is getting caught or sandwiched between international revelations and internal disclosures."
Earlier, Macron had said that he was not in power when the deal was signed between the two countries. "It was a government to government discussion. I just want to refer to what Prime Minister Modi very clearly said a few days ago. I was not in charge at that time. I know that we have very clear rules," Macron said while addressing a presser on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
"The contract is a part of a broader framework between India and France, which is a military and defence coalition between the two countries. It's very important to me and it's a strategic coalition. I just want to refer what Prime Minister Modi said on the situation," Macron had added.
The deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets was signed in 2016 between Prime Minister Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and the French government under then-President Francois Hollande.
The Congress party has been alleging irregularities in the high-profile Defence fighter jets contract, saying that the NDA government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
The controversy took a new twist last week after Hollande, with whom Prime Minister Modi had cleared the deal in 2016, claimed that the Indian government had proposed Reliance Defence's name as the offset partner for Dassault Aviation.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Sep 28 2018 | 1:56 AM IST

Explore News