Rahul Gandhi interacts with working and retired employees of HAL today in Bengaluru.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi is at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in Bengluru today and interacted with some working and retired employees of the state-run aerospace and defence company in the context of the defence behemoth not getting offset contract from the Rafale fighter deal. He applauded the employees for their work and said he wanted to work with them in making HAL more effective.
"Rahul will meet and interact with about 100 working and retired employees of HAL at Minsk Square facing its corporate office in the city centre on Saturday evening to ascertain their views and concerns on the company not getting the Rafale contract," Congress's state unit spokesman Ravi Gowda was quoted by news agency IANS.
The city police has allowed the party to conduct the meeting for about 90 minutes from 3:30 p.m onwards in the Square circle where a replica of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, built by HAL for the Indian Air Force (IAF), is showcased for the public.
Here are the LIVE updates on the story:
I want to stand with you. We are going to protect your future. Rafale deal is rightfully yours. Only you have the expertise to make aircraft like that: Rahul Gandhi to HAL employees
Rahul Gandhi to HAL employees
HAL is not just a company, it is a strategic asset that we built after independence
The work you have done for the country is tremendous, the country owes a lot to you
I am here to listen you. I want to find out your problems and work out ways to make HAL more effective
Rahul Gandhi meets HAL employees. Scaling up his attack on Narendra Modi government, Rahul Gandhi has claimed that Dassault, the firm that makes the Rafale jet, has been pressured by the government to select Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as its offset partner, instead of the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Rahul Gandhi meets Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru
Some of the serving employees of the HAL have reached the venue.
The BJP said the Congress President is a "serial liar" and a "manufacturer of fake news". Union minister Piyush Goyal said the French government and Eric Trappier, the chief executive officer of Dassault Aviation, the company that manufactures Rafale jets, have "exposed" Mr Gandhi's claims. Mr Trappier told news agency AFP that Dassault Aviation's joint venture with Anil Ambani's company represented only 10 per cent of the offset investments and his company is in talks with about 100 Indian firms for offset partnerships for the Rs. 59,000 crore deal.
Rahul Gandhi has arrived in Bangalore. He will attend a public meeting on the Rafael scandal.
Rahul Gandhi and his Congress party have been attacking the Modi government over the Rs 58000 crore Rafale fighter jet deal alleging corruption and favouritism.
Rahul Gandhi said there was a need to "defend the dignity of India's defenders" as he accused the Narendra Modi government of "snatching" the Rafale offset contract from HAL and "gifting" it to Anil Ambani's company.
Rahul Gandhi will meet the employees of the public sector unit outside its headquarters in Bengaluru.