This Article is From Feb 06, 2023

"Truth Revealing Itself Today": PM's Dig At Congress Over Rafale Attacks

PM Narendra Modi said, "Misinformation was spread about HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), and many false allegations were made against our government"


Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted the opposition today at an official event in Karnataka, during his visit to the state ahead of assembly elections. Inaugurating India's largest helicopter manufacturing facility in Tumakuru -- a city around 70 km from state capital Bengaluru – PM Modi pointed to opposition allegations that the deal for Rafale fighter jets was benefitting Reliance Defence Ltd of Anil Ambani and destroying state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited or HAL.

"Misinformation was spread about HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), and many false allegations were made against our government," PM Modi said without naming the Congress, which had been vehement in its attacks.

"Many working hours of Parliament were wasted over it. HAL's Helicopter Factory and its rising power will unveil those who levelled false allegations. HAL boosting self-reliance in defence," he said. "This factory is the answer to the opposition charges. The truth is revealing itself today," he added.

The Congress had built its campaign for the 2019 general election around the alleged irregularities in the Rs 59,000-crore deal for acquisition of Rafale aircraft from a French firm. The party alleged that the Rafale deal benefitted Reliance Defence Ltd of Anil Ambani and questioned why state-run aerospace major HAL was not involved as was finalised during the UPA regime.

Congress's Rahul Gandhi had alleged that PM Modi's government was destroying HAL and snatching away jobs from the people of Karnataka by taking away the contract from HAL.

In the election that followed, the party was decimated, with the political plank degenerating into a personal attack on the Prime Minister with the "Chowkidar Chor Hai (the watchman is a thief)" campaign.

The greenfield helicopter factory inaugurated today will manufacture Light Utility Helicopters and Indian multi-role Helicopters. Initially, the factory will produce around 30 helicopters per year, which will be upped to 60 and then 90 per year in a phased manner. Over the next two decades, the Tumakuru factory is expected to manufacture over 1,000 helicopters.

The new factory is expected to bring thousands of jobs and benefit more than 6,000 people through direct or indirect employment. It is also likely to generate business to the tune of Rs 4 lakh crore.

The Supreme Court has given a clean chit to the government regarding the Rafale deal. In November 2020, following a Congress petition, the top court had confirmed an earlier order, saying there was no need to begin an inquiry into the matter.

The BJP has demanded that Rahul Gandhi apologise to the people for his allegations against PM Modi on the deal.