Rahul takes Rafale bat­tle to HAL doors

Khaleej Times - - INDIA -

bengaluru — Tak­ing the Rafale bat­tle to the doors of HAL, Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi on Satur­day said that the Modi govern­ment has “in­sulted, hurt and de­stroyed” the fu­ture of the pub­lic sec­tor un­der­tak­ing by de­priv­ing it of the off­set con­tract with the French air­craft man­u­fac­turer Das­sault.

In an hour-long in­ter­ac­tion with about 100 for­mer and present em­ploy­ees of Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL), who were di­rected by the man­age­ment to keep away from it, he also ques­tioned the cred­i­bil­ity and the ex­pe­ri­ence of the pri­vate com­pany that got the Rs300 bil­lion off­set con­tract.

Rahul said firms such as HAL, ISRO and DRDO were the “tem­ples of mod­ern In­dia” which were be­ing “de­stroyed” by the Modi govern­ment that was in­dulging in cor­rup­tion.

“A very se­nior per­son in the govern­ment has raised ques­tions over the ‘ca­pac­ity’ of HAL. I ask them as to what is the ca­pac­ity of Anil Am­bani’s com­pany that has got the con­tract? What ex­actly is the ex­pe­ri­ence this per­son has (in aero­nau­tics)? The HAL’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties are all in front of us. You (HAL) have built HF-24, MiGs, Sukhoi and Te­jas. The pub­lic sec­tor is the back­bone of the coun­try and the de­fence sec­tor,” Rahul said.

He said it was “com­pletely ridicu­lous” to say that HAL does not have any ex­pe­ri­ence. The per­son who got the con­tract has zero ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Does HAL have debt? No. But the per­son who got the con­tract has Rs450 bil­lion debt,” he added.

Rahul said: “You are the only com­pany with the req­ui­site ex­pe­ri­ence to build that air­craft (Rafale). You are the peo­ple who built Te­jas, MiG, Sukhoi. How can any­body say that you are not ex­pe­ri­enced? The forces try­ing to take away your fu­ture are quite pow­er­ful, quite con­nected,” he said, adding that con­certed ef­forts would be needed to save HAL and other pub­lic sec­tor com­pa­nies. —

AP

Congress party pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi speaks to work­ing and re­tired em­ploy­ees of the state-run aero­space and de­fence com­pany Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Ltd in Bengaluru on Satur­day. —

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