Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that plane-maker Dassault Aviation paid Rs. 284 crore to Anil Ambani’s company as “first instalment of kickbacks” and commented: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi won’t survive an inquiry on Rafale, I guarantee.”
The Congress president shared no evidence or document to substantiate his allegations.
The Wire ( news portal) report, on which Rahul Gandhi has based his latest broadside, says Rafale maker Dassault followed up its offset partnership with Reliance Defence by investing around 40 million euros, around Rs. 284 crore last year in another Anil Ambani venture that is loss-making and has almost zero revenues. The news portal has cited regulatory filings in France and India.
The Wire report says Dassault’s investment translated into a Rs. 284 crore profit for the Ambani group company, Reliance Infrastructure, which sold shares in a subsidiary, Reliance Airport Developers Limited (RADL) at a premium.
The Wire refers to an interview in which Dassault CEO Eric Trappier had claimed his company chose Reliance ADAG as its offsets partner because it had land available next to an airport. “However, the land was only given to Reliance by the state government after it had reached an understanding with Dassault to collaborate on the Rafale,” the report said.
“It is now revealed that the land was actually bought from the money of the contract that was given by Dassault to Anil Ambani… this is a clear-cut case of getting a kickback,” said Mr Gandhi.
“The CEO is lying, the big question is why a company would invest Rs. 284 crore in a loss-making company with a valuation of Rs. 8.3 lakh. This is called kick-back. This is the first instalment of the kick-back that was given to Anil Ambani by Dassault,” the Congress president alleged, saying that “Rafale is an open and shut case”.
“So why is Dassault CEO lying, because he is trying to protect one person the person who runs this country…Modi,” he said.