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Leaked email about Airbus helicopter, it has nothing to do with Rafale, clarifies Reliance Defence

Rahul Gandhi had alleged that PM had leaked deal information to Anil Ambani before signing of Rafale deal

ET Online|
Updated: Feb 12, 2019, 05.30 PM IST
Rafale deal: Reliance Defence rejects Rahul Gandhi’s charges
Rafale deal: Reliance Defence rejects Rahul Gandhi’s charges
Reliance Defence has rejected the Congress party charges that its Chairman Anil Ambani had prior information of the Rafale deal and clarified that the leaked email is referring to cooperation between Airbus Helicopter and Reliance not the government to government agreement between France and India for Rafale fighter jets.

"Purported email being referred by the Congress Party is regarding the discussion between Airbus and Reliance Defence for Civil & Defence Helicopter Programs under ‘Make in India,” ANI quoted Reliance Defence statement.

"Discussion on proposed MoU was clearly with reference to cooperation between Airbus Helicopter and Reliance. It had no connection whatsoever with Government to Government Agreement between France and India for 36 Rafale aircraft," the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "treason" and violating the Official Secrets Act by acting as Anil Ambani's "middleman" in the Rafale jet contract

released to the media an email dated March 28, 2015 purportedly written by Airbus executive Nicolas Chamussy to three recipients with the subject line "Ambani".

He claimed the email showed Ambani visited then French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's office and mentioned an "MoU in preparation and the intention to sign during the PM visit (to France)".

The Congress president asked how Ambani knew about the deal and mentioned it in the French defence minister's office when even then foreign secretary S Jaishankar and then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had no information on it.

According to Gandhi, it was earlier an issue of corruption, of procedural inconsistencies but was now a matter related to the Official Secrets Act which he said was "much more serious'.

"This is treason. Narendra Modi is doing what spies do. He is informing somebody of a defence matter. He is under oath to protect these secrets," Rahul alleged.

"How come Anil Ambani knew about the deal 10 days prior to the signing of Rafale deal," he asked.

"Only Prime Minister can answer this question as he was the only to be aware of this deal as neither the defence ministry, nor HAL knew anything about the deal," he said.

(Inputs from PTI)

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