Rahul Gandhi has spoken on the Floor of the Parliament today on the Rafale Deal. And as has become the norm, he has lied once again. The Congress President asserted that HAL had manufactured the Mirage 2000 aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
— Congress (@INCIndia) January 2, 2019
But the fact is, the Mirage 2000 was never built in India. Ironically enough, the Mirage 2000 was built by Dassault. In 1982, India had purchased 40 Mirage 2000 aircraft from the French government and had the option to buy 110 more. the French Defense Ministry had described the sale as ”the first step in a program of French-Indian industrial cooperation that will lead to the construction of this French-designed aircraft in India and underscores the determination of the two governments to develop their relations in all areas.”
In 1985, after the delivery of the first 7 aircraft, India became the first foreign nation to make use of the aircraft. In 2012, the IAF intended to buy two second-hand Mirage 2000 aircraft to make up for losses. Eventually, when the aircraft was used during the War in Kargil, they are said to have performed extremely well.
In 2017, it was reported that the upgrade of India’s Mirage 2000-H fleet could face a roadblock after the maintenance warranty from equipment manufacturers Dassault Aviation and Thales of France expired with disagreement between HAL and the IAF regarding who should pay the bills.
The Congress President has lied on several occasions regarding the Rafale deal and has even repeated the same lies on different occasions. Earlier in November, Rahul Gandhi had challenged Prime Minister Modi to a debate on Rafale. He had also falsely claimed that the government had removed the CBI Director Alok Verma to stop him from probing the Rafale deal. At one point, the Congress president had claimed in the Lok Sabha that the French president had told him personally that there was no secrecy pact between the two countries which prevented the government from discussing the terms and price of the Rafale jets.
The French government then issued a statement which essentially proved that Rahul Gandhi lied on the floor of the Parliament. They stated that the secrecy pact was signed in 2008 (during UPA regime, AK Antony being the defence minister), whose provisions also apply to the deal of 36 Rafale aircraft and their weapons which was signed on 23rd September 2016.
Rahul Gandhi had also alleged that Reliance will benefit by US$ 4 billion, approximately the entire offset amount. Later, he added US$ 16 billion for “Rafale lifecycle Contract” that Reliance was supposed to get. In reality, no such ‘lifecycle contract’ exists. And both the figures have no basis in fact.