The office of former French President François Hollande on Saturday stood by his claim that his government did not have a say in choosing Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence for the Rafale deal, NDTV reported.
On Friday, a French media outlet quoted Hollande as saying that his government “did not have a say” in choosing Ambani’s company for the Rafale deal. Hollande claimed the Indian government had proposed Reliance Defence’s name for the pact, which was agreed upon when he was president.
Hollande reiterated to AFP later in the day that his government did not choose Reliance. He also said he was not aware if India had put pressure on Reliance and Dassault to work together.
France on Friday said it is “in no manner” involved in choosing French companies’ industrial partners for projects in India. The statement by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said Paris’ only obligation in the Rafale jet deal was to ensure delivery of the aircraft to India and their quality.
In a separate statement, Dassault Aviation said it had chosen Reliance Defence for the project.
India agreed to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft worth Rs 59,000 crore from France after signing the deal in September 2016. Later that year, Reliance Defence joined the deal’s offset programme through Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd, in which it holds a 51% stake. Dassault Aviation owns 49% of the joint venture, which was announced in India in October 2016.