Narendra Modi-led Central government is now caught in a political storm over the Rafale Fighter deal.
Opposition demanded a JPC (joint parliamentary committee) probe on this issue. Two veteran leaders and former union ministers from the first NDA government, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha replicated it as a biggest defence scam in world’s history.
In this situation billionaire, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group on Sunday denied receiving any contract from the Defence Ministry and also said that unfounded and incorrect allegations are being deliberately made to mislead people and cloud the issue.
Beside this revelation, Defence Public Sector Undertakings have taken the lead in investing heavily in the Uttar Pradesh defence Industrial Corridor which saw the launching of projects for it here on last week, even as Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pushed the public and private sector towards focussing on exporting their products.
Meanwhile, answering questions ranging from lack of experience to state-owned Hal being overlooked for the deal; the group informed that Dassault the French firm that is to supply 36 Rafale fighter jets choose Reliance Defence Ltd to meet its offset or export obligation in the contract. The firm also informed that the Ministry of Defence has no role in the selection of Indian partners by the foreign vendors.
Reliance defence Ltd CEO Rajesh Dhingra said that the government to government deal requires all 36 aircraft to be delivered in a fly-away condition, which means they are to be exported from France by Dassault and HAL or anyone else cannot be the production agency for the simple reason that no aircraft are to be produced in India.
He said that HAL was a nominated production agency for the 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) programmes, which never reached the contract stage.
“Reliance Defence or any other group related to the company has not received any contract from the MoD till date, related to the 36 Rafale aircraft. This is absolutely unfounded and incorrect,” Dhingra opined to a news agency.
Now focussing into investment issues a source from UP government said that the development comes even as UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the event stated that he requests the Defence Minister to shift the venue of the biennial Aero India show from its traditional location in Bangalore to UP.