French Rafale jets deal sparks political storm in India

france24

A 2015 Indian deal to buy 36 French Rafale fighter jets has whipped up a political storm in India with the opposition claiming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “friends” – and not the country – is benefitting from a bad deal.

Back in April 2015, when Narendra Modi announced India’s order of 36 French-made Rafale fighter jetson the first day of his first official visit to France, it was hailed as proof that the self-styled “man of action” prime minister could deliver.

Negotiations for the high-profile deal had dragged on for three years with deadlocks over the costs and subsidiary clauses frequently stalling the process. But when the French-Indian intergovernmental deal was finally struck, it was hailed by all parties with then French President François Hollande noting that it showed the partnership between India and France had “entered a new stage and our countries are united by the most beautiful kind of relationship, a relationship of trust”.

But three years later, the Rafale deal has turned into a synonym for distrust in India between the opposition and the ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) amid allegations of collusion, lack of transparency and crony capitalism…

Read more : France 24, 29.08.2018