Despite Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman giving out facts and figures relating to the contracts totalling Rs 1 lakh crore that have been given to HAL, in Parliament on Monday, Rahul Gandhi has, in response, resorted to making personal allegations against her. Speaking to reporters at Parliament after the Sitharaman's response, the Congress president said that the Defence Minister lied about her middle-class background.
"The Defence Minister spoke for one-and-a-half-hours. She had said that the Centre had given Rs 1 lakh crore contract to HAL. Then, she said Rs 26,570 crore worth contracts were given to HAL. So this is a lie. She has lied in the Parliament today on two-three issues today.
I'm again requesting the Defence Minister and PM Modi to answer my question, 'Did Air Force and Defence ministry senior officers object to your interference in Rafale deal?' Please answer in a 'Yes or No' manner. When I asked her this question in the Parliament, she spoke at length about her middle-class background, which is also a lie. She did not give a 'Yes or No' answer to my question," he said.
Just as she had on Friday in her detailed response, Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday once again put to rest the Opposition's attempts to question facts about the contracts given to HAL. This came after the Congress president on Tuesday tweeting a report questioning the contracts worth Rs 1 lakh crore given to HAL and demanded the resignation of Nirmala Sitharaman, which was immediately countered by the Defence Minister.
"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. Tomorrow, RM must place before Parliament documents showing 1 Lakh crore of Govt orders to HAL. Or resign," his Twitter message read.
The Raksha Mantri on Monday during her speech in Lok Sabha lay all doubts to rest by stating facts and figures on the HAL contracts.
"In 2019, regarding procurement order regarding HAL, I had mentioned that there are 83 LCA Tejas fighters order worth Rs 50,000 crores, 15 combat helicopters order worth Rs 3,000 crores, 200 orders worth Rs 20,000 crore and 19 Dronier transport aircraft worth Rs 3,400 crores, helicopters worth Rs 15,000 crore and aero-engines worth Rs 8,400 crores. The total comes to Rs 1 lakh crore."
"I would like to lay doubts to rest by adding that I have received confirmation that during 2014-2018 contracts amounting to Rs 26800 Rs were signed with HAL and orders worth Rs 73,000 crore approximately are in the pipeline.
In response, Rahul Gandhi once again accused her of lying and made the remark about her middle-class background.