Amidst Rafale row, PAC led by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge slams HAL, questions efficiency

The Supreme court has also debunked all the allegations made by Rahul Gandhi about the Rafale deal, reiterating the same points the Indian Government and others have been repeating in the past.

A Parliamentary panel headed by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has expressed “serious concerns” over Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s (HAL) “failure” to timely provide the required number of Tejas aircraft to the Airforce, which according to the panel would adversely affect the Indian Airforce’s combat capabilities.

The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company, which the Congress party supremo has been recently using as a tool to continue his political dramatics to target Narendra Modi led BJP, has been in the radar as a report on ‘Design Development, Manufacture and Induction of Light Combat Aircraft’, submitted by the public accounts Committee was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Friday, which mentioned that there have been huge delays in the development of the supersonic fighter jet.

This failure to deliver, according to reports, resulted in two LCA squadrons not materialising, forcing the IAF to upgrade several aircraft, including the MiG-BIS, MiG-29, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar aircraft at a cost of Rs 20,037 crore. The panel observed that due to this laxity, the phased out MiG-21s had to be revised and the IAF is having to operate with 35 squadrons as against 42 squadrons sanctioned.

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Unlike Rahul Gandhi’s false allegations and rhetorics, which had been earlier busted many times, this directive coming from a panel headed by one of his own party members further establishes that though HAL has always been very much part of the Rafale deal, somehow HAL has not been equipped to fulfil the requirements. For this reason perhaps, way back in 2015 Dassault had also expressed its inhibition in partnering with HAL, flagging its concern about the technical inadequacies of HAL.

Continuing with his age-old rhetorics, Rahul had earlier tweeted a link where former HAL chief T S Raju had claimed that the Rafale jets could have been built in India. However, Scientist and columnist Anand Ranganathan had then put out a thread of tweets with articles busting the myth that state-owned HAL had the ability to make fighter jets.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been repeatedly telling the world that the Modi government bypassed the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in favour of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence, and that insinuating kickbacks were received by the Modi government for the deal. Repeating his baseless allegations for the millionth time, he had also claimed that Modi has snatched a multi-million contract from HAL.

Contrary to his allegations, in 2005, HAL and Snecma (now known as Safran) had formed a joint venture company Snecma HAL Aerospace Pvt. Ltd, to manufacture various parts for the French company in India. In 2015, they signed a MoU to set up a facility to manufacture several high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine. And now, Dassault has formed an alliance with this Snecma HAL as one of their offset partners. Snecma HAL will get some business as part of Dassault’s offset obligation.

In the past, various ministers of the Government of India, the Reliance Group, and the French government, all have punctured his frivolous allegations and now even the Supreme court has debunked all the allegations made by Rahul Gandhi about the Rafale deal, reiterating the same points the Indian Government and others have been repeating continuously. But it so seems that the Congress Supremo is in no mood to accept his mistakes and concede his defeat.

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