Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been spreading a plenty of misinformation about the Rafale deal, which has already been busted by The True Picture. In fact, one of his claims that the present government is destroying Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), public sector aircraft manufacturer, has also been exposed in one of our earlier articles. We had shown in the document that the increase in the HAL’s turnover under the NDA Government is more than what it was under the UPA Government.
Despite all the above fact checks, Congress President has continued incessantly to fan the propaganda that the current government is ruining HAL. Let us see the varying views of Congress and other experts on HAL, before and after 2014.
In 2013, A.K. Antony, Defence Minister under the UPA government, had criticised HAL, India’s biggest aerospace company, for its inability to deliver quality products in time and said that, “it must show results”.
Being the votary of privatisation of defence manufacturing in India, A.K. Antony also said, “The HAL is unhappy and angry about us giving the project to the private sector. But it is good for the HAL that it should have rivals and competition.”
In 2005, when an Indian Air Force pilot, got severely injured for lifetime during ejection from a malfunctioning MiG, the then UPA Government led by the Congress Party in an affidavit to the Delhi High Court in 2013, put the entire blame on HAL. The affidavit said, “the accident was caused due to a manufacturing defect on the part of HAL”.
The then Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, under the UPA government gave a green signal for 10% stake sale of HAL, which the Congress President now calls ‘a Strategic Asset’ and ‘Temple of Modern India’.
Taking a sudden U-turn from ‘Failing to Deliver’ to ‘Temple of Modern India’, Rahul Gandhi blamed the Modi government for ruining HAL.
As the election approaches in 2019, Congress President despite a clear denial from HAL went on to meet the HAL employees. He called HAL ‘a strategic asset’ and blamed the current government for snatching the Rafale deal from a government institution and gifting it to a private company, despite the fact that such an offset policy, which encourages the entry of private players into defence manufacturing, was brought in by the UPA Government itself in 2005.
Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge said that the government is tarnishing the image of HAL. Ironically, his own party led government blamed HAL for severe spinal injury of IAF’s Wing Commander in an affidavit to the Delhi High Court in 2013 despite HAL’s total opposition to the charge. Now, did that not tarnish the image of HAL? is a question to be answered.
Congress Party and its leaders have taken a sudden U-turn on HAL after the year 2014. Congress itself brought in a policy that was bound to have more private players in the defence manufacturing sector. Moreover, Congress leaders themselves had doubted the capabilities of HAL before 2014. But, after 2014, in the attempt to somehow paint the Rafale deal as a scam, HAL is being politically utilised by the Congress Party and its Chief Rahul Gandhi.
Above analysis evidently shows that this is a clear case of Congress’ hypocritical viewpoint over HAL. It was bad before 2014 when Congress was in power and after 2014 HAL has suddenly became good when Congress is the opposition party.