Two weeks before Rafale announcement, Anil Ambani met French Defence officials : Media report

Two weeks before Rafale announcement, Anil Ambani met French Defence officials : Media report

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 12 Feb 2019, 01:13 pm

New Delhi, Feb 12 (IBNS) : About a fortnight before  Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France, industrialist Anil Ambani reportedly  visited then French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s office in Paris and had a meeting with his top advisors in the fourth week of March 2015, The Indian Express says.

The meeting was attended by Le Drian’s special advisor Jean-Claude Mallet; his industry advisor, Christophe Salomon; and his technical advisor for industrial affairs, Geoffrey Bouquot, The Indian Express reported..

Ambani’s meeting was described by Salomon to a top official of a European defence company as “confidential and planned as you can imagine with very short notice”.

Citing the version of an official, who was briefed on the meeting, the report said Ambani expressed his wish to work with Airbus Helicopters on both commercial and defence helicopters. He is also said to have mentioned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) “in preparation and the intention to sign during the PM visit”.

Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he had a copy of an email that proved the Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani knew he would get the Rafale deal even before it was signed.

"Dear students & the youth of india: everyday there are new revelations about RAFALE that make it clear that the PM helped his friend Anil Ambani, steal 30,000 crore of your money," he said on Twitter.

Sharing the document, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said: "It seems Airbus, French Government, Anil Ambani all knew that the PM will sign an MOU on his visit to France between 9th and 11th April, 2015."

The email, dated March 28, 2015, quotes an Airbus representative who claimed that "Anil Ambani visited" then French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's office in Paris, which it claimed was "confidential" and "planned". The email is dated March 28, 2015, which is just a few days before Prime Minister announced the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France.

The government is scheduled to table the CAG report on Rafale jet fighter deal in Parliament on Tuesday.

The Rafale issue was even raised before the Supreme Court, which did not find any substance in the allegations. However, the issue has continued to rock Parliament with Congress President Rahul Gandhi directly accusing the Prime Minister of benefiting  Anil Ambani.

On Monday,  The Hindu had reported that the government had waived off anti-corruption penalties days before signing the Rafale deal with France. On February 8, the newspaper had also published a report stating that during negotiations over the Rafale deal between India and France, the Defence Ministry reportedly "raised strong objections" to "parallel negotiations" conducted by the Prime Minister's Office with France.

Two weeks before Rafale announcement, Anil Ambani met French Defence officials : Media report

India Blooms News Service
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