Rafale Deal Row: Anil Ambani Files Rs 5000 Crore Defamation Suit Against Congress Mouthpiece National HeraldChairman Of Reliance Communication Anil Ambani (Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint via Getty Images)

Failing to change Congress’ stand on the Rafale deal with his letters, Anil Ambani has filed a Rs 5,000 crore defamation suit against the party’s mouthpiece National Herald and leader Shaktisinh Gohil, The Indian Express has reported.

Reliance Defence, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Aerostructure, three companies of Ambani’s Reliance Group, have said that an article published in the newspaper regarding the Rafale fighter jet deal was "libellous and derogatory".

In the case against National Herald, the companies have named its editor in-charge Zafar Agha and author of the article Vishwadeepak.

The article, titled ‘Anil Ambani floated Reliance Defence 12 days before Modi announced Rafale deal’, had claimed that the Narendra Modi “government had changed the clauses of the deal laid down by the previous United Progressive Alliance government to benefit one man”. In its original form, the article said that the company was floated 10 days before Modi announced the deal with France for 36 Rafale jets. However, it updated the article at a latter date to say that the company was floated by Reliance 12 days before the deal was announced.

This development comes after Ambani, who has written two letters to the Congress since it started levelling allegations of corruption, failed to convince the party that the government had no role in Dassault Aviation - the makers of Rafale jets - choosing Reliance as its partner in India. Ambani had also assured the Congress that it has the experience for the task allotted to it.

“There is no contract from the MoD (ministry of defence) to any Reliance Group company related to the 36 Rafale aircraft… Not a single component worth a single rupee is to be manufactured by Reliance for these 36 jets. The allegations relating to ‘lack of experience’ are, thus, irrelevant,” Ambani had written.

In his first letter, sent late last year, he had reminded Congress President Rahul Gandhi of old family ties. Invoking "respectful relationship" with the Gandhi family, Ambani said he was "personally saddened" by the "unfortunate statements" against him and his group by several Congress party leaders.

Also Read: Why Accusing The Modi Government Of Favouring Reliance In The Rafale Deal Defies Logic

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