After triggering a massive controversy with his statement that the Indian government gave Reliance Defence's name as Dassault Aviation's offset partner for Rafale deal, former French President Francois Hollande has reiterated that his government "did not choose Reliance in any way".

Speaking to AFP, Hollande said he was unaware if India had put pressure on Reliance and Dassault to work together. 

"Only Dassault can comment on this," Hollande told AFP on the sidelines of a meeting in Canada on Friday.

His response comes in the light of the allegations of conflict of interest as Reliance partially financed a film produced by his girlfriend Julie Gayet in 2016.

"That is why, moreover, this group (Reliance) did not have to give me any thanks for anything. I could not even imagine that there was any connection to a film by Julie Gayet," he told a French news portal on Friday. 

His remarks that Paris was given "No Choice" on the Indian associate for the mega contract has triggered a massive war of words in India. 

Hollande was France's president when procurement of 36 Rafale jets was announced in April 2015. 

The Narendra Modi government on Saturday said it did not have any role in the selection of Reliance Defence as a partner by Dassault Aviation for the Rafale deal. 

The defence ministry said that "unnecessary controversies" are being sought to be created following media reports regarding a statement purportedly made by Hollande concerning the selection of Reliance Defence as the offset partner by Dassault, the manufacturers of Rafale aircraft.

"The government has stated earlier and again reiterates that it had no role in the selection of Reliance Defence as the Offset partner," the ministry said.

The statement by the ministry came a day after French publication 'Mediapart' quoted Francois Hollande as saying that the Indian government proposed Reliance Defence as the partner for French aerospace giant in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale deal and France did not have a choice.

"We did not have a say in that...It was the Indian government that proposed this service group (Reliance), and Dassault who negotiated with Ambani," he told investigative website Mediapart.

"We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us," Hollande said. 

The Dassault Aviation has chosen Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL) as the Indian partner to fulfil offset obligations of the deal and both companies have already announced setting up of a joint venture to manufacture aerospace components. 

The opposition parties have been accusing the NDA government of favouring the RDL over state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. The government has been maintaining that it has no role in the selection of RDL by Dassault Aviation.

The previous UPA government was negotiating with Dassault Aviation for procurement of 126 Rafale jets under which 18 jets were to supplied in a fly-away condition and 108 were to be manufactured in India by the French company along with HAL. However, the UPA could not seal the deal.