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HAL regrets politicisation of its employees after Rahul Gandhi attacks Centre on Rafale deal


BENGALURU: The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) – the state-run aerospace company – has regretted the ‘politicisation’ of its employees soon after Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked the Narendra Modi government during an interaction with its present and past employees.

The company termed it as ”a fad and regrettable” development that would be detrimental to national security and the organisation.

A statement from HAL, which did not specifically refer to Rahul Gandhi’s interaction with the employees, came after the event during which the Congress president alleged that temples of modern India were being attacked and destroyed.

“The NDA government has extended full-fledged support (to HAL), having placed supply orders of over Rs 27,340 crore during the 2014-18 period by recognising its premier position,” a senior HAL officer was quoted as saying PTI.

Towards improvement and upgradation of infrastructure, including ramping up of production facilities, funding to the tune of Rs 7,800 crore was sanctioned during the period, a statement from HAL said.

The official also said HAL enjoys pride of place in the defence and aerospace industry sector and has made an immense contribution to the nation-building process.

“Today’s attempt at the politicisation of the employees is a fad and regrettable development and will be detrimental to the interest of the organisation, its employees as well as national security,”the HAL official said in the statement.

In the interaction with former and past employees, Gandhi had accused the Modi government of destroying the “strategic asset” state-run aerospace company HAL and told its employees that Rafale is their right.

Congress, which has been accusing the government of benefiting Reliance Defence Ltd of Anil Ambani from the deal, has also been demanding answers on why the state-run aerospace major HAL was not involved in the deal as finalised during the UPA regime.

The party had been accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of snatching jobs of people of Karnataka by taking away the contract from HAL.

The Congress chief had been saying that had HAL been selected in place of Reliance Defence, it could have generated employment to scores of unemployed youth in the state.

However, the BJP and Reliance Defence have dismissed all the allegations as false.

Modi had announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighters after holding talks with then French President Francois Hollande on April 10, 2015, in Paris.