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Stepping up his attack on the Modi government over the Rafale deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused it of weakening state-run aerospace major HAL and destroying India’s strategic capability to benefit businessman Anil Ambani.

He also alleged that while the government gave Rs 20,000 crore to Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale jets, even though it has not supplied a single aircraft.

“But, why HAL’s dues of Rs 15,700 crore have not been cleared,” Rahul asked.

He was speaking to reporters outside Parliament.

“The strategy of the government is — weaken HAL, do not give it money, destroy India’s strategic capability and give ‘gift’ to Anil Ambani,” Gandhi alleged.

The government as well as Ambani have rejected all such allegations.

Asserting that the Congress will protect the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), he alleged, “we are not going to allow Rs 30,000 crores of people’s money to be taken by Anil Ambani because he is Narendra Modi’s friend.”

Gandhi further said, “Give me 15 minutes with PM Modi for a debate on Rafale, the country will know the truth.”

The Congress President also slammed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for “lying in Parliament” and evading his questions on Rafale in her reply to the debate on the issue.


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