Amid the row over favouritism in Rafale deal, a group of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) employees on Thursday accused Narendra Modi of hatching a conspiracy to “bleed and shut” the country’s largest public sector defence unit. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the members of HAL Welfare Forum claimed that the Modi government has not paid Rs 14,000 crore for aircraft and helicopters that have already been delivered and the company had to take a loan to pay the salaries of its employees.
“There is a systematic conspiracy to bleed and shut down HAL by the present government. The present government has paid Rs 20,000 crore in advance for buying the Rafale to Dassault Aviation without delivery of a single aircraft. On the other hand, HAL has not been paid Rs 14,000 crore for aircraft, helicopters that have already been delivered,” Renuka S, ex-general secretary and former chief convenor of the All India Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd Trade Union Coordination Committee, said.
Alleging corruption in the Rafale deal, the Opposition Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi have been accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of overlooking HAL by giving preference to his “businessman friend” Anil Ambani’s Reliance.
The government, however, rejected the allegations and said that it played no role in choosing the offshore partner of Dassault Aviation – the French company responsible for manufacturing the aircraft. However, former French president Francois Hollande, under whose term the deal was signed, claimed that India had proposed Reliance for the deal.
The group of HAL employees claimed that the company was capable of providing offshore services for the Rafale deal and Anil Ambani's Reliance, which was reportedly floated 10 days before Modi signed the Rs 58,0000 crore deal with the French president.
Watch the highlights of the press conference by HAL employees:
The web of lies spun by NoMo and his associates has been busted by the HAL Welfare Forum. Watch the highlights of their Press Conference where they explain how the current govt. has bled them dry and misled the nation on their capabilities. #HALExposesModi pic.twitter.com/uTh6hHaz3p— Congress (@INCIndia) January 10, 2019