France envoy rejects corruption charges in Rafale deal, says aircraft will arrive in 6 months




Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler on Wednesday rejected charges of corruption in the multi-billion USD Rafale jet deal and said the “very good” aircraft is expected to join the Indian Air Force within six months.

Speaking to ANI in Bengaluru, he said, “I do not see any scandal. What I see is a very good aircraft which has been purchased by Government of India. The aircraft will probably come here (Bengaluru) first and will join the Indian Air Force within six months.”

The Narendra Modi government had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

The fighter jet is a twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, which security analysts believe can be a ‘game-changer’ for India’s defence system.

Attacking the Modi government, the Congress and other opposition parties have alleged that there was corruption in the high-profile deal and Reliance Defence, owned by industrial Anil Ambani, had been signed as the offset partner by aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviatio even though the company had no previous experience.

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