Congress President misleading nation on contracts to HAL: Sitharaman

Vastavam web: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Sunday hit back at Congress President Rahul Gandhi after he accused her of lying in Parliament about procurement orders worth Rs 1 lakh crore for state-run aerospace major HAL. In her counter offensive, Sitharaman said it was a matter of “shame” that the Congress president was misleading the country on the issue.

“It’s a shame that the president of @INCIndia is misleading the nation. HAL has signed contracts worth Rs 26570.8 Cr (Between 2014 and 2018) and contracts worth Rs 73000 Cr are in the pipeline. Will @RahulGandhi apologise to the country from the floor of the house?” the defence minister tweeted. Earlier, Gandhi alleged that she “lied” in Parliament that government orders worth Rs one lakh crore were provided to HAL, while demanding that she should either place the documents in support of her statement in the House or resign.

The media report cited senior HAL management officials in order to back its claim. The Congress has been targeting the government, alleging that it denied the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) an offset contract under the Rafale fighter jets deal with France, a charge the government has denied.The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (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.

“When you tell one lie, you need to keep spinning out more lies, to cover up the first one. In her eagerness to defend the PM’s Rafale lie, the RM lied to Parliament,” Gandhi tweeted.”Tomorrow, RM must place before Parliament documents showing 1 Lakh crore of Govt orders to HAL. Or resign,” he said.