SOURCE: TUSHKAR SHIRODKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.
France’s Sherpa NGO, which specializes in financial crime, filed an official complaint about “corruption” and “influence peddling” among other accusations, prompting an investigating magistrate to be designated to probe the 7.8-billion-euro ($9.3-billion) deal for 36 planes between the Indian government and French aircraft manufacturer Dassault.
Back home, the main opposition political party in India, Indian National Congress (INC) has declared that recent development in France just vindictive their stand of allegations of corruption in the deal but it fails to address many of the major allegations that INC has put forward against present Modi government which French Agencies are not even investigating.
The French Parquet national financier (PNF) will majorly be investing the choice of Reliance, Dassault’s Indian partner in this sale and company of a businessman close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. INC back in India had alleged that Reliance got offset contracts worth 30000 crores in 58000 crores deal, but it later turns out to be not more than 800 crores and many public and private sector companies had got bigger pie of the offset deals thus puncturing the narrative that Junior Ambani lead Reliance made a killing in the offset deal.
PNF is asserting if the selection of Reliance Aerospace that had no prior experience in the Aerospace sector and alleged close links with PM Modi aided in chances of being getting selected for the offset of the Rafale Deal, which itself is very difficult to prove as corruption of bias selection since such selection has no prior criteria nor it has any standard preset definition that translates into the allegation of corruption or wrongdoing, what’s even more difficult is to prove white-collar allegations of the bias and favoritism.
Now back to some of the major allegations of the INC, One being that India procured Rafale at an inflated price and each per unit flyaway unit should have been more or less 570 crores instead of 1671 crores, similar deal with Qatar and Egypt only blows INC allegations into pieces since this deals were sealed nowhere at the cost of 570 crores per unit and as seen it was sometimes even more expensive than Indian deal. The second major allegation being Reliance Aerospace bagging a major offset deal which itself is untrue. The only hope of INC now lies that PNF finds some level of favoritism in the selection of the Reliance Aerospace for 800 crores offset deals which is no smoking gun to prove the allegation that can be directly linked to the PMO.
Left-leaning French Le Monde newspaper and Mediapart along with French NGO’s like Sherpa seems to be on another kind of mission to keep the pot boiling for some reasons that are best known to them or their fundraisers and investors who are keen that allegations of corruption on Rafale deal can someway stick on the Modi government and benefit his rivals in next elections but Modi government must go ahead and clear procurement of fresh Rafale jets with France to show rival companies and some political parties that their stand clear of all drama that has been unfolding without much evidence to back up.