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French crash course, via Rafale

Congress president Rahul Gandhi seizes on the word 'compensation' to allege that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is 'corrupt'

By Sanjay K. Jha in New Delhi
  • Published 12.10.18, 4:03 AM
  • Updated 12.10.18, 11:26 AM
  • a min read
Rahul Gandhi has demanded a probe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in relation to the alleged scam in the Rafale deal during a press conference at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI picture

The Congress on Thursday released what it said was the English version of the latest Mediapart report that quotes a Dassault official as saying the joint venture with Anil Ambani’s Reliance was agreed as a “compensation” for the purchase of the Rafale jets.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi seized on the word “compensation” to allege that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “corrupt”.

“Look at the word — ‘compensation’. For what is Ambani being compensated? What has Ambani done for Modi? The reality is that the Prime Minister was working for Ambani; the Prime Minister is a corrupt person,” Rahul told a news conference on Thursday.

The French version of the report on the portal had used the word “contrepartie”, which was variously translated as “counterpart”, “trade-off” and “bargain” on Wednesday night.

However, the English version, attributed to Mediapart and released by the Congress, said: “(Loik) Segalen (the Dassault second-in-command) told the representatives: ‘It was imperative and obligatory for Dassault Aviation to accept this compensation in order to obtain the Rafale India export contract’.”

Asked where the word “compensation” had come from, Congress communications chief Randeep Surjewala said on Thursday: “There are two versions of the Mediapart report — French and English. The English version clearly states the Dassault official said it was ‘imperative and obligatory’ to accept Reliance as ‘compensation’. It is their expression, not our interpretation.”

In Paris, Dassault released a transcript of what it said was its CEO Eric Trappier’s interview with AFP in which he said what is called “offset” in English is usually translated into French as “compensation” or “contrepartie”.

Dassault said the Indian partner was “freely chosen”.