Recently, Mediapart, a French media house came out with a report, which it claimed to be a new document of Dassault (French aviation firm), saying, “Dassault considered this alliance as a “counterpart”, “imperative and mandatory”, to get the market.”
This gave an impression that Dassault was compelled to choose Reliance as an offset partner in India to get the Rafale deal. In fact, a journalist from NDTV, a known fake news channel (busted by The True Picture earlier too), tweeted the following.
Her tweet was picked up my many fake news peddlers on Twitter and shared en masse to create an impression as if there is yet another big revelation on Rafale, and Reliance was thrust upon the Dassault as a trade-off to get Rafale deal.
What are the Actual Facts?
- This report is indeed a document from Dassault which is available with the top management and the trade union of Dassault. So, there is nothing new or internal about it, as is being claimed by some sections of media. Some opposition politicians and journalists sensationalized the document by calling it so.
- Mediapart document tried to prove that Reliance was forced upon Dassault. But the truth is in fact otherwise.
It is the offset that is mandatory and not actually Reliance. In fact, many private companies like Reliance, Mahindra, Kinetic and Maini have been signed by Dassault in India. Thus, all these companies (offset partners) including Reliance became the mandatory offset partners for Dassault. Moreover, as per the press release of Dassault, negotiations are ongoing with a hundred-odd other potential partners too.
So, this was a clear attempt of misrepresentation of facts from the report of Dassault. Amidst the much lies and fake news, when journalists and politicians in India are struggling tooth and nail to paint Rafale a scam, this attempt too was busted in minutes.
- Dassault in its press release further clarified, “In compliance with the French regulations, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Loïk Segalen informed that May 11, 2017, the Central Works Council of the creation of the DRAL joint-venture in order to fulfill some of the offsets commitment.”
So, Dassault COO informed its trade union members that a manufacturing plant was being constructed in Nagpur, India, as a part of the Rafale deal in which the offset is mandatory.
This has been misquoted as explained above too. Dassault has many offset partners and in case of DRAL JV (Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited Joint-Venture), it is Reliance. Therefore, Reliance became the offset partner in this case.
- This mandatory offset policy in India is a standard practice, which is being followed all over the world and it has been in place in India since 2005, first formulated by the UPA government.
How the Falsehood was Spread.
Following the footprints of Congress president, continuing his own farrago of lies around Rafale, Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, Congress shared the fake news calling it, “explosive revelation in French media.”
This is altogether a different matter that there was no explosion but an imagination of an explosion.
Then, one of the most usual suspects who never flinch from spreading fake news, if it involves maligning the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shared this fake news also, by calling it sensational.
Even when lies were being busted and called out, this did not deter many others from spreading the fake news. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Preeti Sharma Menon was next to share this fake news calling Defence Minister a liar and even went on to ask for her resignation for falsehood.
Above case shows that how desperately false attempts are being made to paint Rafale a scam. Lies, half-truths and farrago of distortion have become the main weapons of journalists and the opposition parties, to defame the Government of India, and especially the Prime Minister.
This unfolding of events, on the day when Supreme court gave a positive order on Rafale deal asking government merely for a report on the decision making of the deal in a sealed envelope, smacks of a larger design which keeps on adding confusions and distortions around the Rafale deal.
With the misrepresentation of this report, Mediapart now appears to have become an agency which is trying to create confusion and suspicion among masses. It is quite interesting to recall here that Mediapart has been a constant basher of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since a long time and has been flattering Congress President Rahul Gandhi, whom it finds the last hope for the left in India and calls him the Jeremy Corbyn (Left-leaning politician of UK).