As part of his series of attacks on the prime minister and the ruling BJP-led government on the Rafale deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has now made remarks aimed directly at Air Force pilots, telling them that Rs 30,000 crore has been given to Anil Ambani and this money could’ve instead been given to them when they died in plane crashes.
“....And Mr Anil Ambani has been given Rs 30,000 crore of your money. Now, my friends in the air force, pilots, remember one thing, this Rs 30,000 crore could’ve been used for your safety, this Rs 30,000 crore could’ve been given to your families, this
Rs 30,000 crore could be given to you when you die in a plane crash,” Gandhi stated while claiming to hold evidence of irregularities in the Rafale deal.
The Congress president’s comments come at a time when the Indian Air Force (IAF) is still reeling from the shock of the deaths of two young pilots in the crash of a Mirage 2000 during a test flight. The aircraft had just recently been upgraded by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which has received criticism for its lacklustre performance in catering to the needs of the defence forces.
Ironically, Gandhi’s arguments in the Rafale controversy have included unabashed criticism of private sector involvement in defence, claiming that HAL is a hapless public sector entity being disadvantaged due to the government catering to corporate interests.
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