MUMBAI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday met protesting employees of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) unit at Ozar near Nashik. He lashed out at the centre for engaging wrong policies in the defence production sector while assuring the employees of a meeting in New Delhi to find ways to meet their demands.
The employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) are on an indefinite strike since October 14 in support of various demands, including wage revision.
Pawar who addressed three poll rallies in Nashik district on Thursday met the HAL employees on Friday morning.
“The government granted contract to a company that didn’t have experience in making paper planes,” Pawar said while referring to Dassault aviation’s contract given to Reliance Defence.
Pawar also criticized the central government for engaging in wrong policies for defence production in the country, due to which prime institutions like HAL are being ignored, he said.
“I was a minister at the centre when the HAL’s contract to produce Sukhoi aircraft in the country was signed. The government back then values the institutions established by great leaders in the past and tried to preserve them. The current government has a different approach,” Pawar said while criticizing the central government’s decision to keep HAL out of Rafael deal.
“The (Assembly) polls will be over in eight days. If your union is ready, we will hold a meeting to discuss the issue (after the election),” Pawar told the employees during his meeting.
“You select two representatives each from Bengaluru, Nashik and Lucknow. We will discuss the issue in my presence in Delhi and try to find a way out,” the former Defense Minister added.
The Bengaluru-headquartered defence PSU has in all nine units all over India, including one in Nashik in North Maharashtra.