Tuesday, January 08, 2019 Last Updated 0 Min 46 Sec ago Malayalam Edition
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Tuesday 08 Jan 2019 11.56 AM

Rahul slams Modi over Rafale deal, says PM refuses to pay dues of HAL

Rahul Gandhi, Modi, Rafale

New Delhi : Upping the ante over HAL's reported cash crunch, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid Rs 20,000 crore to France's Dassault Aviation even though it has not delivered a single Rafale jet, but refuses to pay the dues of the Indian aerospace major.

Gandhi's attack comes a day after he accused the Modi government of weakening public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and destroying India's strategic capability to benefit industrialist Anil Ambani. "The PM pays 20,000 Cr. to Dassault before a single RAFALE is delivered but refuses to pay HAL 15,700 Cr. it is owed, forcing it to borrow 1,000 Cr to pay salaries," Gandhi tweeted. "Meanwhile, the RM (Raksha Mantri) spins lie after lie but cannot answer my questions," he said.

Gandhi also shared a video of his statement outside Parliament on Monday following Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's remarks in Parliament rejecting "doubts" raised by the Congress on her statement on HAL. Speaking to reporters outside Parliament on Monday, Gandhi had alleged: "The strategy of the government is — weaken HAL, do not give it money, destroy India's strategic capability and give the 'gift' to Anil Ambani. That is the plan and that is what we are trying to thwart." The Congress and the BJP-led NDA government have been involved in a war of words after a media report claimed that HAL, grappling with low finances, was forced to borrow Rs 1,000 crore to pay salaries to its employees, for the first time in years. PTI

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