On 24 January 2016, Anil Ambani made an announcement that his company was partnering with the then French President Hollande’s partner, Julie Gayet and her production house, Rouge International, to produce a French film.
The announcement came on the same day that French President Francois Hollande arrived in Delhi for a three-day visit. And later that year, Ambani’s Reliance Defence became a partner in the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal, a report in The Indian Express by Journalist Sushant Singh revealed.
On September 23, 2016, India and France signed a deal under which New Delhi would procure 36 Rafale fighter jets worth Rs 59,000 crore from Paris.
Later that year, Reliance Defence joined the the offset programme of the Rafale deal through Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd, in which it holds a 51% stake.
Dassault Aviation, which manufactured the jets, owns 49%. Reliance and Dassault announced a joint venture in India in October 2016.
The film Reliance Entertainment part-produced with Gayet’s firm, Rouge International, was titled Tout La-Haut. It was released in France on December 20, 2017. It was never released in India. Two months prior to the film’s release, Dassault Aviation chairperson Eric Trappier and Anil Ambani laid the foundation stone for the manufacturing facility in Nagpur, The Indian Express said.
Opposition parties in India targeted Narendra Modi saying that the Indian government had proposed the name of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the offset partner for the Rafale fighter jet deal.
The Congress said Modi had lost all moral right to remain in office after the “bombshell” revelation.
“The PM personally negotiated & changed the #Rafale deal behind closed doors. Thanks to François Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to a bankrupt Anil Ambani. The PM has betrayed India. He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
In a scathing tweet, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that Modi should be ashamed of himself for betraying the soul of India.
The PM and Anil Ambani jointly carried out a One Hundred & Thirty Thousand Crore, SURGICAL STRIKE on the Indian Defence forces. Modi Ji you dishonoured the blood of our martyred soldiers. Shame on you. You betrayed India’s soul. #Rafale
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 22, 2018