Rafale scam: Anil Ambani writes to Rahul Gandhi, says Reliance’s role limited to ‘offset exports/export obligations’

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Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani has written to Congress President Rahul Gandhi saying that allegations of his company benefiting by thousands of crores from the purchase of 36 Rafale jet from France was a ‘figment of imagination, promoted by vested interests.’

Anil Ambani

A press release issued by Ambani’s company Reliance Infrastructure Ltd read, said that the company’s role was limited to ‘offset exports/export obligations.’

“Our role is limited to offset exports/ export obligations. More than 100 medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) will participate in this along with public sector undertakings like BEL and Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). This role strengthens Indian manufacturing capabilities and is in pursuance of the Offsets Policy introduced by the Congress-led UPA Government itself from 2005 onwards,” news agency IANS quoted the release.

Ambani also told Rahul that his party had been “misinformed, misdirected and misled” by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals on the offsets related to the Rafale fighter jet deal.

In the letter written last week, Ambani also expressed “deep anguish over continued personal attacks” on him while terming all allegations as “baseless, ill-informed and unfortunate”.

He also clarified that Rafale fighter jets were not being manufactured by Reliance or Dassault Reliance Joint Venture.

Ambani said that Rahul’s allegation that Reliance Defence was set up 10 days before the announcement on 10 April, 2015 of government’s decision to purchase 36 French-manufactured Rafale jets links factually incorrect information “and is thus irrelevant and completely false.”

“The Reliance Group announced its decision to enter the defence manufacturing sector in December 2014-January 2015, months before the intention for purchase of Rafale aircraft. In February 2015, we informed the Indian Stock Exchanges of the companies we have incorporated,” IANS further quoted the release.

Gandhi has been attacking the Modi government, alleging that the deal had caused a loss of Rs. 41,000 crore to the exchequer compared to the price negotiated by the Congress-led UPA government.

Meanwhile, the Congress has launched a month-long countrywide agitation to what it said expose the scam in the purchase of Rafale jets by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Tuesday, #Rafale_PollKhol_Yatra became a top trend on Twitter as Congress supporters took to microblogging site to highlight the anomalies in the deal.

The anomalies in the Rafale deal was first exposed by Janta Ka Reporter last year in a three-part series. This had led to Congress holding an emergency press briefing the following day. Since then the topic has become a dominating theme of public discourse in India. (You can read here (Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3).

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