Congress President Rahul Gandhi would interact with some working and retired employees of the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in Bengluru today in the context of the defence behemoth not getting offset contract from the Rafale fighter deal, a party official said on Friday.
“Rahul will meet and interact with about 100 working and retired employees of HAL at Minsk Square facing its corporate office in the city centre on Saturday evening to ascertain their views and concerns on the company not getting the Rafale contract,” party’s state unit spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS.
The city police has allowed the party to conduct the meeting for about 90 minutes from 3:30 p.m onwards in the Square circle where a replica of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, built by HAL for the Indian Air Force (IAF), is showcased for the public.
“Rahul wants to know firsthand how the HAL employees feel about losing out the Rafale contract and how the company would make up for the loss of offset orders from the French aerospace major (Dassault Aviation),” Mr Gowda said.
Though the company has advised its employees to stay away from the meeting as per the employment rules and service conditions, a few of them will meet Mr Gandhi along with their retired colleagues and express their concerns over the deal and other issues.
“As the employment rules and service conditions do not apply to the retired personnel, we have no say in their meeting with Gandhi. Regarding working employees, some of them may meet him as union members of the HAL Employees Association,” an official told IANS.