New Delhi, Jan 6:
The Congress today accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of “lying” that procurement orders worth Rs 1 lakh crore were provided to HAL, saying the aerospace major had stated that “not a single paisa” had come to it.
The allegation came a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “weakening” the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to help his “suit-boot” friend.
The opposition party has been targeting the government, alleging that it denied HAL an offset contract under the Rafale fighter jets deal with France, a charge the government has denied.
The BJP-led NDA government has accused the Congress of not supporting HAL during its rule and asserted that the government is now strengthening the defence public sector undertaking.
Gandhi’s attack on Saturday came after a media report claimed that HAL, grappling with low finances, was forced to borrow Rs 1,000 crore to pay salaries to its employees for the first time in years.
Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted on Sunday: “The Lying Defence Minister’s Lies Get Exposed! Defence Minister claimed that procurement orders worth Rs 1 Lakh Crore provided to HAL! HAL says Not a SINGLE PAISA has come, as Not a SINGLE ORDER has been signed!” “For the first time, HAL forced to take a loan of ?1000 Cr to pay salaries!,” he added.