The Rafale deal controversy relates to the purchase of 36 multi-role fighter aircraft by the Indian Defence Ministry from France’s Dassault Aviation. During an official visit to France in April 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would acquire 36 fully built Rafale jets citing “critical operational necessity”.

 

In September 2016, India and France signed an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) for acquisition of 36 aircraft at a cost of Rs580 billion (Dh29.8 billion).

 

In November 2016, however, political warfare over the deal began with Congress accusing the government of causing “insurmountable loss” of taxpayers’ money by signing the deal.

 

It claimed that the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence Limited had been unfairly picked to be French firm’s Indian partner. Congress also alleged that the cost of each aircraft was three times more than what the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had negotiated with France in 2012.

 

Both Dassault and the government have denied the allegations.