Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took a swipe at Congress leaders, who allegedly tried to mislead employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited a few years ago when the Indian Army was deployed on the border, and said they are not even talking about the public sector company now.
He also claimed that the defence sector was like ”a club for the Congress which their close relatives could plunder”.
In an apparent reference to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s allegations of irregularities in the Rafale deal and taking away jobs from HAL, Modi said: ”Remember the lies they had spread four-five years ago. They tried to mislead the HAL workers. It was done at a time when our Army was deployed on the border. In this election, the Congress leaders are not at all spelling out the name of HAL.” According to him, the reason behind the Congress’ silence on HAL was that this was for the first time since its inception, the HAL made a record profit.
The Prime Minister said ”earlier due to theft, no profit was happening” but after he came to power, the state-run entity started registering profits.
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When the Congress was in power, no defence deal happened ”without commission”, he said, adding it is the BJP, which is setting up modern defence factories and strengthening the Indian Army.
Addressing an election rally here, Modi said: ”For Congress, defence sector was a club where maternal uncles, paternal uncles and close relatives could plunder the nation. This was Congress’ 85 per cent commission government which had ruined the HAL.” Explaining the need for a ‘double engine’ government, he said Asia’s biggest helicopter factory of HAL at Tumakuru stands testimony to having the same party governments at the Centre and in the state.
Due to the factory, Tumakuru is ”shining on the world map”, the Prime Minister said adding, the people of the district gave him the opportunity to lay the foundation and inaugurate the helicopter unit.
”A big helicopter manufacturing unit could come up because we laid emphasis on the ‘Made In India’ system for the Indian armed forces but Congress always wanted India to be dependent on imported products,” Modi said.