While Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleges irregularities in the offset contracts under the Rafale deal, reports have emerged of his former business partner receiving a defence offset contract under the erstwhile UPA government.
As per a report in Business Today, Ulrik Mcknight the co-owner in Rahul Gandhi’s now defunct UK based firm Backops limited got a defence offset contract under the UPA regime.
Mcknight owned 35 per cent in Backops and Rahul Gandhi 65 per cent from 2003 to 2009 after which the firm shut shop. Mcknight though later received offset contracts from French firm Naval Group for the manufacture of Scorpene class submarines in 2011.
As per the report, in 2011 Naval Group signed a deal with Visakhapatnam-based Flash Forge Private Limited for the supply of critical submarine parts to its builder Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
In the same year Flash Forge acquired an UK based company Optical Armour Limited. This company Optical Armour gave a directorship and 4.9 per cent equity to Ulrik Mcknight.
Another company acquired by Flash Forge in 2013 named Composit Resin Developments Limited too gave a directorship to Mcknight.
Since long, Rahul Gandhi has been alleging irregularities in the Rafale deal’s offset contracts. This has included him spreading lies about Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving Rs 30,000 crore to “his friend Anil Ambani” under the Rafale deal.
The truth of the matter is that Reliance Defence has received just 3 per cent of the total offset amount which rounds off to around Rs 900 crore. This offset contract also does not involve any role in building Rafale jets and is instead part of a contract to build Falcon Executive jets.