In a point-by-point counter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi's allegations on the controversial Rafale deal, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group's Chairman Anil Ambani said the Congress has been misinformed, misdirected and misled by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals.
In a letter to Congress President, Anil Ambani expressed his anguish over continued personal attacks and termed all allegations as baseless, ill-informed and unfortunate.
Ambani also explained the role of Reliance in offset exports/work share arrangement with French aircraft manufacturer Dassault. "Rafale fighter jets are not being manufactured by Reliance or the Dassault Reliance Joint Venture. All 36 planes are to be 100 per cent manufactured in France, and exported from France to India," the letter read.
Ambani clarified that not a single component worth a single rupee is to be manufactured by Reliance for these 36 Rafale jets. "The allegations relating to 'lack of experience' are, thus, irrelevant," said the letter.
There is no contract from the MoD to any Reliance Group company related to 36 Rafale aircraft, said Ambani, adding that the allegations of Reliance benefitting by thousands of crores is a figment of imagination, promoted by vested interests. "Simply put, no contract exists with the Government of India."
"Our role is limited to offset exports and 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," added Ambani.
"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," wrote Ambani, countering Gandhi's allegation that Reliance Defence was set up 10 days before the announcement of the deal in 2015.