Dassault CEO defends Rafale deal, Congress cries 'match-fix'
Dassault chief executive Eric Trappier was quoted on Tuesday as defending the Rafale deal and declaring “I don’t lie”, drawing ridicule from the Congress that dismissed it as a “fixed match” and said the accused and the beneficiary cannot be the judge in the case.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had suggested on November 2 that Trappier was lying but the Dassault boss’s response came through an interview to news agency ANI that was uploaded a day after the Centre filed affidavits in the Supreme Court on the Rafale deal.
Rahul did not directly refer to Trappier’s comments but threatened more revelations with a cryptic message: “Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost.”
Rahul tweeted in response to the government’s affidavit in the Supreme Court on the decision-making process on the purchase of fighter aircraft from France.
“In the Supreme Court, Modiji has accepted the theft… conceded in the affidavit that he changed the contract without consulting the Air Force and put Rs 30,000 crore in Ambani’s pocket,” he tweeted.
Trappier claimed in the interview that the Rafale jets in a flyaway condition were less expensive in the NDA deal than those in the UPA deal and it was the French company that chose Anil Ambani’s firm as the offset partner.
But Congress communication chief Randeep Surjewala said “fixed match between the BJP and Dassault cannot hide the truth”.
Surjewala said: “The PR stunt that Eric Trappier and Narendra Modi are doing will not cover up the layers of corruption in the Rafale deal. Dictated interviews and manufactured lies cannot cover corruption. First rule of law is that statements of mutual beneficiaries and co-accused hold no value. Second rule is: beneficiaries and accused can’t be judge in their own case.”
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari asked several questions. One stood out: “Para 23 of the affidavit says that the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded acceptance of necessity for 36 aircraft
on May 13, 2015. The announcement of purchase was made on April 10, 2015. Was DAC approval a command performance?”