Tumakuru (Karnataka) [India], February 6 (ANI): Lashing out at the Opposition for spreading 'misinformation' about Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in the past, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said several false allegations were levelled against the government while precious working hours in the Parliament were wasted.
PM Modi's remarks were seen as a veiled reference to the Opposition's allegations of corruption in the Rafale jet deal, in the run-up to the 2019 general elections. The HAL was allegedly not a part of the contract for the manufacturing of fighters for the Indian Air Force.
The Congress had alleged that the Centre had pressurised Dassault Aviation, a French firm, to do away with HAL as its strategic offset partner.
The Congress had also questioned the government over the offset partners for the manufacturing of 108 Rafale fighter aircraft in India.
However, the Supreme Court, in 2018, dismissed the petitions against the Rafale deal and also rejected a review of its earlier judgment in November 2019.
Invoking the Congress claims, PM Modi on Monday said the rising power of HAL will help unmask those who levelled false allegations.
"We strengthened the working of the public sector defence companies in the last 8 years and also opened the doors for the private sector. We are seeing its benefits in HAL as well. Misinformation was spread about HAL and many false allegations were levelled against our government. A conspiracy was hatched to provoke people against the government in the name of HAL," PM Modi said while inaugurating a HAL helicopter factory in Karnataka's Tumakuru on Monday.
PM Modi also recalled earlier Parliamentary sessions that were disrupted by the Opposition over the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Rafale deal.
"Many working hours of Parliament were wasted over it. Falsehood loses and truth always prevails. No matter how big the falsehood or how often it is said or whoever says it, the truth always shines through. HAL's helicopter factory and its rising strength will unmask those who levelled such false allegations. HAL is boostingCongress had earlier claimed that the previous UPA government had negotiated the purchase of one Rafale fighter aircraft, including the transfer of technology, at Rs 526.10 crore after a tender for procuring 126 aircraft.
The BJP-led government later negotiated a deal to buy 36 Rafale aircraft off the shelf. (ANI)