Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his Party have spread a series of lies and fake news about the Rafale fighter plane acquisition from a French defence firm, Dassault Aviation, with the main aim to malign the Modi Government and put India’s defence preparedness in danger. In fact, there appears to be a larger agenda behind such a devious exercise, and to create a scam out of nothing as the Nation approaches the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Here is the list of all the lies and their respective fact checks.
- Rahul Gandhi tried to twist a report that appeared in Mediapart (French media agency) published on October 10, 2018. He essentially said that making Reliance an offset partner was a tradeoff for Dassault Aviation to get the Rafale Deal from India.
- He completely twisted the facts and presented it wrongly. Dassault never said that choosing Reliance was mandatory. The True Picture has already busted this lie.
- What was mandatory was the offsets clause, not any specific company. India wanted Dassault to fulfil certain offsets’ obligations so that the deal can go through smoothly.
- To fulfil offset obligations Dassault was free to choose whoever they wish to deal with. Dassault’s own press release on October 10, 2018, says that they have partnerships with companies such as BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL, …etc. Negotiations are ongoing with hundred-odd other potential partners.
- Dassault CEO too, in an interview on October 11, 2018, has clearly said that Dassault has many offset partners and Reliance is just one of them. He also said that the choice of offset partners is Dassault’s prerogative. Read our story to know the complete truth from Dassault CEO himself.
- The Congress party was fairly swift in spreading the false news and fake propaganda after the Supreme Court heard a batch of petitions on October 10, 2018, on Rafale deal which was miscreantly filed to obtain the stay on the deal.
- Supreme Court refused to discuss the price or technical details. Rather it merely asked for a report on the decision-making process on the deal (Rafale) in a sealed envelope.
- There was a clear emphasis on the fact that this report need not have details of the pricing of the aircraft.
- Even though the reality is outrightly clear and in the public domain, Congress tried to portray it as though the Supreme Court had questioned the government on the deal.
- The True Picture article Supreme Court issued a notice to Centre on Rafale: Fake News Busted has already covered this aspect, to bust this fake news shared by a known journalist. But, the similar fake news was also shared by Congress too, as explained above.
- Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his tweet on September 27, 2018, claimed that a senior officer at the Ministry of Defense was ‘punished’ by the Modi government for submitting a dissent note on the Rafale deal.
- He and his party claimed that the officer was forced to take a leave when he presented his reservation about the benchmark price and later his objections were ‘overruled’ by another senior officer.
- These claims were shattered soon when the officer in question himself spoke to the media and denied any kind of ‘punishment’.
- He denied being punished by the government for his objections. Busting the ‘forced leave’ narrative, he said that he was on an educational trip that was scheduled long before.
- The True Picture busted this lie as well.
- The Congress claimed that Reliance Entertainment had financed ex-French President Hollande’s girlfriend’s movie.
- This was again distortion of facts and a false attempt to correlate the normal business of a private entertainment company which has invested somewhere, solely as a part of its routine business.
- Reliance clarified by stating that it had participated in Gayet’s film through one of its partners Visvires Capital, a French financing firm. The media and entertainment arm of Reliance Group had financed only 15 per cent of the film.
- However, it was made clear that Reliance Entertainment has not signed any agreement with Julie Gayet or her company, Rouge International, and no payment has ever been made by Reliance Entertainment to either of them in relation to the film.
- Rahul Gandhi said that ex-French President Hollande called PM Modi a thief whereas Hollande has never used any derogatory words for our Prime Minister ever.
- When fake news spread about Mediapart quoting President Hollande as making a statement about India having proposed Reliance for collaboration with Dassault Aviation, the President soon contradicted this statement in another interview. He emphasized that he was unaware of any pressure to choose Reliance as an offset partner and clarified that only Dassault can answer this if there was any pressure or not.
- Dassault has all through maintained that their offset partners are purely their own choice.
- Responding to Congress Party’s contradictory claims, Dassault Aviation, the French as well as the Indian governments have clarified in their respective statements that the pact for Offset clause between Dassault and Reliance Defense was virtuously a private agreement between two companies and neither the French nor the Indian government was involved in it.
- Yet again, Rahul Gandhi who is an accused and out of bail in a fraud case, had lied through his teeth, misquoting the ex-French President and despicably calling PM Modi a thief.
- Hollande Statement – Dassault Free to Choose Partners, Affirm Dassault and French Govt, an article by The True Picture has already busted this lie and elaborated on this aspect comprehensively.
- During the debate on the No-Confidence motion in the Parliament, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that French President Emmanuel Macron had clearly conveyed to him that there was no problem in sharing any minute details relating to the Rafale deal.
- Gandhi said, “I personally met the French president and asked him if there is such a pact between the French and Indian governments. The French president told me that there is no such pact between the French and Indian governments. This is the truth, and he told me that I have no objection to it (details of Rafale deal) being made public, you can communicate it to entire India”.
- The French Government, within no time, issued a statement refuting Gandhi’s claim and said clearly that there is indeed a clause that prohibits both parties from sharing this classified information.
- The spokesperson of France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said, “France and India concluded in 2008 a security agreement, which legally binds the two States to protect the classified information provided by the partner, that could impact security and operational capabilities of the defence equipment of India or France.”
- They also reiterated the fact that the French President indicated publicly in an interview that, “In India and in France, when a deal is very sensitive, we can’t reveal all details”.
- We, at The True Picture, caught this lie of Rahal Gandhi and busted in our article, Rahul Gandhi’s farrago of lies in Lok Sabha During No-Confidence Motion Fact-Checked.
- On the same Rafale issue, Rahul Gandhi has quoted multiple numbers for the supposed price of aircraft in the UPA deal.
- In Parliament, he said 520 crore.
- In Karnataka, he quoted 526 crore.
- In Rajasthan, he mentioned 540 crore.
- In Delhi, he stated 700 crore.
- If he was being truthful, he would have stuck to just one number. As he was inventing numbers each time, so he spoke whichever number he wanted, and thus, it seems that he is lying brazenly and that too on various Public platforms!
- In one of the story by The True Picture, a compilation of different prices quoted by Rahul Gandhi has already been done.
- Rahul Gandhi had continuously lied that CCS was never consulted on the Rafale deal.
- He had also said that the CCS’s approval was never taken for this deal.
- It is mandatory that once the contract is finalized and before it is executed it goes to the CCS for approval.
- The proposals in the Rafale deal were presented to the Defense Acquisition Council on 3 occasions and its directions were incorporated. The proposal then got a CCS nod, only after which the Inter-Governmental Agreement happened between India & France in 2016.
- More facts can be read on this in one of The True Picture’s article.
Based on the discussion above, Rafale deal is a clear case of a farrago of distortions, half-truths and incessant lies being spread to paint it as a scam. Congress party and its President does not seem to have any regard for official statements from the Indian and the French government.
Let alone the governments, opposition parties including Congress do not have confidence even on the highest court of India, which has already given a positive judgement on the Rafale deal, asking the government to merely present a report on the decision making of the deal in a sealed envelope.