Rafale Deal: French portal claims 1 million euros gifted to Indian intermediary

Mahima

A verbal spat broke out recently between Congress and BJP based on reports from a Paris- based website Mediapart. The opposition demanded probe into allegations surfacing in French portal’s report of gifting 1 million euros to an Indian middleman.
BJP however rejected all irregularities and maintained that the named person is incarcerated for UPA-era arms offers. Congress remarked that Narendra Modi is liable to address the issue as the deal was tarnished by the existence of a middleman.

BJP declared that nothing awry was found in the Rafale contract, either by the Supreme Court or by the CAG. The person named in the French report, Sushen Gupta, was arrested in connection of bribes in the AugustaWestland deal which also brought up alleged involvement of Gandhi Family.

The website claims that Dassault Aviation allegedly paid 1 million euros (Rs. 8.63 crore) to Gupta immediately after the Rafale deal was inked. It further claims that Dassualt couldn’t give a satisfactory explanation for the payment to Gupta’s company Defsys Solutions, during an audit which garnered attention of French anti- corruption Agency Francaise Anticorruption (AFA).

The report mentions that Dassault had entered the payment to Defsys Solutions as ‘gifts to clients’ for making 50 car-sized replica models of the Rafale. However, Dassault failed to provide any documentary evidence of the production of models.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala stated that the French report corroborates Rahul Gandhi’s stand that the defence deal was dripping with corruption and commented, “Does it not require a thorough inquiry into India’s biggest defence deal to find out how much bribery and commission in reality, if any, was paid and to whom in the Indian government? Will PM Modi answer the nation now?”

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad responded that Congress previously tried to make it a big deal ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls but failed miserably. He also remarked the allegations to be ‘completely baseless’ and suggested that the possibility of ‘corporate rivalry’ cannot be ruled out.