Rafale Deal: Omar asks those aligned with BJP to explain report on purported Defence Ministry document


Srinagar: National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah Friday stated that he would like to see how those aligned with the BJP would explain reports that the Defence Ministry of India had protested over the mechanism being adopted by the Prime Minister Office for the Rafale deal.

Tagging the purported document of the Ministry in a tweet, which was published in a news report by The Hindu, he said: “The then Defence Minister @manoharparrikar was clueless about the progress of negotiations. All he could say was “IT APPEARS that @PMOIndia & French President’s office are monitoring the progress”. He had no direct knowledge of progress & passed the buck back to the PMO.”

According to the article, the ministry had raised strong objections to “parallel negotiations” conducted by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) with the French side.

“I’d like to see how this one is explained by the talking heads aligned to the BJP. @PMOIndia ‘weakened the negotiating position of the Ministry of Defence & the Indian Negotiating Team’ as per this note in a MOD file that went up the the Defence Minister,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister claimed.

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.

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