Cong chief to interact with HAL staff today

Cong chief to interact with HAL staff today

Rahul Gandhi

The lush green environs of Cubbon Park is where Congress president Rahul Gandhi spend an hour-and-a-half interacting with employees of the state-owned defence undertaking   HAL on Saturday.  

Rahul is slated to attend an interactive meet to discuss the contributions of the HAL to India’s defence sector.

The Congress president is scheduled to land in Bengaluru around 2 pm and then head to the Kumara Krupa guesthouse where he will hold a quick meeting with AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal and other state leaders.

At 3.30 pm, Rahul is slated to arrive at Minsk Square, in front of the HAL corporate headquarters, where the interaction is scheduled. "There is an injunction on holding events within a 500-metre radius of the HAL. That’s why it will be held near Minsk Square,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) vice president B L Shankar told reporters.

Gandhi's interaction with HAL employees is seen as his move to muster their support over the controversial Rafale deal, on the back of which the Congress has mounted an attack on the BJP-led Centre.

“The HAL management has asked its employees not to participate,” Congress MLC Rizwan Arshad, who is involved in organising Rahul's visit to the city, claimed. "In a democratic set up, how can employees of an organisation be prevented from meeting an Opposition leader?," he sought to know.

The Congress also got former HAL Workers’ Union general secretary Anantha Padmanabha to clarify that the interaction with Rahul was not political in nature. "Since its establishment in 1940, the HAL has contributed immensely. We wanted to hold an event on this and had invited Rahul to participate,” he said.