21:53 GMT18 May 2021
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    The controversy over the purchase of French Rafale fighter jets by the Indian government refuses to die down. A media report claiming that France purchased the Rafale jets at a 50% lower price than the Indian government has given the controversy fresh life. Indian opposition leaders are accusing the Modi government of signing an overpriced deal.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): The French government has denied a media report that claimed that Dassault Aviation had received from the French government an order of 28 advanced Rafale fighter jets at a price which was half of that which India had contracted for with the same French aircraft manufacturer.

    India signed a contract with Dassault Aviation for 36 Rafale at 7.87 billion euros in 2016.

    READ MORE: Rafale Deal Takes Center Stage in Intense Infighting in India’s Top Probe Agency

    Alexandre Ziegler, the ambassador of France to India, said that France had not announced any new aircraft acquisition order.

    "The amount you're referring to will finance solely the development of the new F4 standard for the Rafale. The 28 aircraft remaining to be delivered to the French Air Force are part of previous acquisition contracts", Ziegler added.

    The opposition parties have hurled allegations against the present Modi dispensation, saying that it had bypassed clearly laid out defence procurement procedures, and in the process had procured Rafale Fighter jets at a much higher price. In addition, their allegations included that Modi's government had favoured private businesses as offset partners in the said multi-billion dollar defence deal. 

    Indian civil rights activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who had challenged the Rafale deal signed by the Indian government before the Supreme Court, attacked the government once again, using an article published by DefenseNews.com, the world's leading publisher of news on military and governments.

    READ MORE: India's Top Auditor Begins Scrutiny of Controversial French Fighter Jet Sale

    "What?!! The French govt is buying an improved version of the Rafales at 2 B Euro for 28 aircraft. As against this, Modi bought 36 Rafales for 7.87 B! That is > 2.5x/aircraft paid by France. We have been looted to pay 30KCr Commission to Ambani as offset!" Prashant Bhushan said.




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    defence, controversy, Fighter jet, scam, Dassault Aviation, Narendra Modi, India, France
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