New Delhi: France has contradicted its former President and made it clear that it was in no way involved in choosing industrial partners for its companies in the 36 Rafale plane deal. The government of France says its role was just to ensure the delivery and quality of the aircraft amid claims by the former President of that country, François Hollande, that Reliance was imposed as a partner by the Indian side. 

“The French government is in no way involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners that have been, are or will be selected by French manufacturers. In accordance with the Indian procurement procedure, French industrialists are free to choose the Indian industrial partners they consider the most relevant,” the French government said in a release. 

The assertion by the French government has come at a time when there is a political storm over the claims by Hollande that Indian government had proposed the name of Anil Ambani-led Reliance to them.

The French government communication late in the evening says that the “intergovernmental agreement signed on 23 September 2016 between the French and Indian governments for the supply to India of 36 Rafale aircraft covers the only obligations of the French government to ensure the delivery and quality of this equipment.”