Anil Ambani has once again written a letter to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi who has been trying to build a corruption case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government over the Rafale deal.
Gandhi has alleged that the cost of the fighter jet has escalated under the Modi government’s deal and that the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group is receiving an undue benefit of a Rs 45,000 crore offset deal.
In his new letter, the chairman of the group, Anil Ambani, has said that the “Congress has been misinformed, misdirected and misled by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals”.
Anil Ambani’s letter was written last week and provides a point-by-point rebuttal of the allegations that Rahul Gandhi has been levelling against the government and the Reliance group over the deal.
In the letter, Ambani has expressed deep anguish over the attacks he and his company have been facing. The letter terms all the allegations baseless, ill-informed and unfortunate.
“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,” Anil Ambani says in the letter.
In a strong counter to the “Rs 45,000 crore benefit to the group despite lack of experience” charge levelled by Rahul Gandhi against Reliance, Ambani has stated in the letter that “not a single component” of the 36 Rafale aircraft purchased by India “worth a single rupee is to be manufactured by Reliance”.
Ambani adds, “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.”
He states that, “there is no contract from the Ministry of Defence to any Reliance Group company related to the 36 Rafale aircraft and 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.”
Countering Gandhi’s allegation that Reliance Defence was set up 10 days before the announcement of the Rafale deal in 2015, Ambani says, “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.”
This is the second time Anil Ambani has written to Rahul Gandhi, who has continued his attack on the government over the Rafale deal. In December, Ambani had written a letter explaining the role of Reliance in the offset deal with Dassault.>