Rahul takes Rafale battle to HAL doors
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. —
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. —