Amid charges over the Rafale fighter jet deal and its offset clause on the current government, Rahul Gandhi met employees of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) today.
Mr Gandhi said “I have not come here to give a speech, I have come to listen to you,” as he began his interaction with HAL employees, including some who are retired now.
He tweeted, “HAL is India’s strategic asset. The future of India’s aerospace industry has been destroyed by snatching #Rafale from HAL & gifting it to Anil Ambani.”
He said there was a need to “defend the dignity of India’s defenders” as he accused the government of “snatching” the Rafale offset contract from HAL. He further stated “When we got Independence, India built some important assets. While IIT was an important asset for higher education, HAL was one to pioneer India in aerospace.”
HAL is India's strategic asset. The future of India's aerospace industry has been destroyed by snatching #Rafale from HAL & gifting it to Anil Ambani.
Come defend the dignity of India's defenders. I am in Bengaluru to stand with HAL’s employees. Join me outside HAL HQ, at 3 PM. pic.twitter.com/FzfVGZ17Z6
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 13, 2018
“The country owes you for protecting it. You are part of the country’s vision. When Barack Obama said India and China are the only countries in the world that can challenge the US in this field, he said it because of you (HAL),” Mr Gandhi stated.