Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday met and interacted with the employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) outside its headquarters in Bengaluru in Karnataka. As the event started, the Gandhi scion said, "I am here to listen to you, about the issues you are facing". Referring to the cancellation of Rafale fighter jets contract, a senior employee said that HAL was "insulted" with the move, urging all to "fight for the company's right till the issue reaches its logical conclusion".
Here are the highlights:
# I apologise to HAL for what has been done to them by the government of India, says Rahul Gandhi.
# If HAL does not have the capacity to build Rafale, what about the person who has been given the contract, says Rahul Gandhi.
# We are not going to allow the destruction of temples of modern India, says Rahul Gandhi.
# Several employees of HAL, who work in aircraft division, have been sitting jobless for the past one year and a half, says HAL employee union SC/ST wing president.
# On your grave new foundations will be built. You can't cut a living organ to attach a new limb, says former IAF engineer.
# HAL is the only organisation that worked for the Russian and western technology. HAL is one of the best in Asia, says former IAF engineer.
# Former Indian Air Force engineer says IAF and HAL are two wings of same flight. "IAF, HAL, DRDO, ISRO, they are not for profit, they are like organs in a body".
# Former general secretary and convenor of HAL union says "Defence Minister said that HAL does not have the capability, but I want to say that HAL is very capable".
# The management has issued a statement to the employees, asking them not attend this event. They have created an environment of fear, senior HAL employee tells Rahul Gandhi.
# HAL is not an ordinary company. I want to thank employees and ex-employees of HAL, says Rahul Gandhi.
# If Barack Obama says that India and China can compete with the US, he says that HAL is one of the reasons for the same, says Rahul.
# "HAL has just one employee union, which is not affiliated to any political group. We are not here in association with any political party. We have been insulted. We were thrown out of the agreement on Rafale deal. We were hurt actually. The government is killing us," says a senior HAL employee.
# We were not just taken by surprise, we were insulted. It's like someone hitting on face with a slipper, says a senior HAL employee on Rafale contract being given to Reliance Defence.
# It is an insult and injury. We will not tolerate this. We will fight out till our last breathe. This management I will condemn in my personal capacity, says a senior HAL employee on Rafale contract being given to Reliance Defence.