Responding to Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier’s defence of Rafale deal in an interview, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said the country needs fair investigation and not doctored explanations
Asserting that the truth has a way of coming out, the Congress on Tuesday said “dictated interviews” and “manufactured lies” cannot suppress the Rafale scam.
The nation needs a “fair investigation” and not “doctored explanations” on the fighter jet deal, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
He was responding to Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier’s defence of the contract in a media interview. Trappier has claimed no wrong-doing in the ₹58,000 crore deal.
“ ‘Dictated Interviews’ and ‘manufactured lies’ cannot suppress the Rafale Scam. First rule of Law – Mutual Beneficiaries and Co-accused’s statements hold no value. Second Rule:-Beneficiaries and accused can’t be Judge in their own case. Truth has a way of coming out,” Surjewala said on Twitter.
Earlier responding media queries When asked about the initial agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the subsequent breakdown of talks with the Indian PSU for production of Rafale jets, the Dassault CEO Trappier said that if the initial deal of 126 jets went through they would not have hesitated to work with HAL and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance.
“It’s because the 126 didn’t go smooth that the Government of India had to reconfigure to urgently acquire 36 from France. And then I took the decision to continue with Reliance, and HAL even said in the last few days that they were not interested to be part of the offset. So, it has been done by my decision and the decision of Reliance to invest in a new private company,” Trappier told .
On the pricing issue, the CEO said that the present aircrafts are cheaper by 9 percent. “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 government to government, there was some negotiation, I had to decrease price by 9 percent. The price of Rafale in flyaway condition is less expensive in the 36 contract than the 126 contract,” he said.
Trappier said that Reliance would match the amount since the shareholding pattern is 49 percent Dassault and 51 percent Reliance as per prescribed government norms.
“We are supposed to put in this company together about Rs 800 crore as 50:50. For the time being, to start work in the hangar and to pay workers and employees, we have already put Rs 40 crore. But it will be increased to Rs 800 crore, which implies Rs 400 crore by Dassault in the coming five years,” said Trappier.
It is important to note Congress chief Rahul Gandhi , in a press conference on 2 November, had alleged that Dassault invested Rs 284 crore in a loss-making company promoted by Anil Ambani which was used to procure land in Nagpur.
In a sharp allegation, Rahul Gandhi had said, “It is clear that the Dassault CEO is lying. If an enquiry starts on this, Modi is not going to survive it. Guaranteed,” the Congress chief had alleged.
“I don’t lie. The truth I declared before and the statements I made are true. I don’t have a reputation for lying. In my position as CEO, you don’t lie,” said Trappier responding to Rahul Gandhi’s charge that Dassault was covering up for possible cronyism in awarding the offset deal to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group .