No role in picking Reliance for Rafale: govt
The Narendra Modi government on Monday told the Supreme Court that as many as 74 meetings were held before the Rafale deal was struck but the stated timeline suggests the negotiations were held after the Prime Minister agreed with the French to conclude the deal.
“Negotiations between INT (Indian negotiating team) and the French side started in May 2015 and continued up to 2016. A total of 74 meetings, which included 48 internal INT meetings and 26 external INT meetings with French side were held during the negotiations,” the Centre said in a document submitted to the court.
But the document itself mentions what by now is well known: that on April 10, 2015, “the two leaders (Prime Minister Modi and then French President Francois Hollande) agreed to conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement for supply of the aircraft on terms that would be better than conveyed by Dassault (the Rafale maker)…”.
The government document suggests the “negotiations” started nearly a month after Modi had agreed to conclude the deal.
According to the document, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved the signing of the agreement on August 24, 2016. The Centre on Monday submitted in a sealed cover another document on the pricing of the Rafale jets.