Bengaluru: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the deal finalized by the previous Congress-led UPA entailed purchase of 18 Rafales from the French aviation company Dassault and manufacture of 108 aircrafts at HAL.
“Why was the UPA’s agreement scrapped arbitrarily?” Gundu Rao asked at a press conference here. “The previous agreement included transfer of technology to the HAL. It could have created so many jobs. Both Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have done the state injustice” he added.
He also accused the BJP-led centre for favouring Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence by announcing the purchase of 36 Rafales by cancelling the previous agreement UPA had inked. “Does that mean that HAL is inferior compared with Ambani’s company, which has no experience in the aviation sector?” Rao asked.
In 2015, Modi announced the purchase of 36 Rafales during his visit to France even as a previous deal for 126 aircraft was pending.
‘Hegde is a hate machine’
Gundurao fired a salvo at BJP’s firebrand Hindutva leader Ananthkumar Hegde. “He is a hate-creating machine,” he said. “The mindset of the BJP leadership – B S Yeddyurappa, Pratap Simha, Shobha Karandlaje and C T Ravi – is nothing but a trash can,” he added.
The BJP, Gundurao charged, had no respect for the father of the Indian Constitution B R Ambedkar. “If it wasn’t for Congress, Ambedkar wouldn’t have been chairman of the Constitution committee. The ideology of the RSS and BJP has no connection to Ambedkar. Remember, the Vajpayee government wanted to rewrite the Constitution and even formed a committee,” he said.
Further, he attacked the BJP for disrespecting Ambedkar. “An Ambedkar portrait was found among trash in the BJP’s Bengaluru headquarters. That’s how they respect him,” Rao alleged.