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After Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's sensational speech in the Lok Sabha on Friday where she gave a point-wise reply to each of the question raised by the Opposition, she was hailed by her party leaders including PM Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah for demolishing the Opposition's charges on Rafale deal.
While addressing several questions raised by the Opposition, the Raksha Mantri spoke about the topic of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Accusing Rahul Gandhi of shedding 'Crocodile tears' for HAL as part of his allegation that Anil Ambani's Reliance was unduly favoured over the state-owned aerospace company as an offset partner for the Rafale deal, she effectively asked what the Congress did for HAL's benefit when it was in power.
"Rather than improving the performance, they go on giving them waivers? If you really care about HAL, you will invest in them, improve them, try to talk to experts to make them better -- you didn't do any of that."
She also came down hard on the Congress party during the debate saying that the previous UPA government did not do enough for the development and improvement of the state-owned aerospace and defence company HAL(Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).
"HAL produces the Tejas. The issues related to HAL was not new to the government then. In 2013, the standing committee says for HAL that they were not able to scale up faster, the government at that time chose to give waivers for non-performance of HAL, rather than looking at the condition of the PSU. In 2013, Government then instead of improving the conditions of HAL, has only given them waivers. How many waivers? Not one or two, but altogether 53 waivers and concessions. Which means you are accommodating all the weaknesses and problems of HAL - none of them you will address, but you will give them waivers," she said.
"Taking forward the Rafale deal debate, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in-return posed questions to the Congress party alleging that they had botched the procedure and failed to proceed with the deal during the UPA era," she said.
"Accordingly, she attacked the Congress for "defence dealing" and compromising on national security, saying, "There is a difference between defence dealings and dealing in defence. We don't do defence dealings, we deal in defence with national security as a priority.""
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After her smashing speech in the Parliament, PM Modi, Finance Minister Jaitley and the BJP president Jaitley showered her with words of praise.
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