Congress Questions Adani Arms Manufacturing Seal

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NEW DELHI – The Congress on Wednesday asked it’s series of question on the tenth day and alleged that the national security policy was used to specifically the longstanding defence relationship with Israel, to enrich corporate cronies.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that the country has a number of startups and established firms that develop, manufacture and operate drones for civil and military applications including public sector firms like Hindustan Aeronautics and Bharat Dynamics.

“A bid was made to set up a joint venture to manufacture drones with the Adani Group that had no prior experience in this strategically important sector. In December 2018, the venture set up a factory to build Hermes 900 drones and also took over the Bengaluru-based startup Alpha Design. On 1 September 2021 this acquisition began paying off after Alpha received an order for 100 attack drones from the Indian Army. Why is the government taking advantage of our armed forces’ emergency requirements and facilitating an Adani drone monopoly at the expense of startups as well as established Indian firms?” he asked.

He claimed that India has long had a number of startups and ordnance factories that develop and manufacture small arms for the civilian and military markets but in September 2020 Adani bought a majority stake in the Gwalior-based PLR systems that manufactures a wide range of small arms in collaboration with Israel Weapon Industries (IWI).

“IWI weapons like the Tavor assault rifle, Galil sniper rifle and Negev light machine gun are already in service with the Indian Army, and this acquisition by Adani simply hands over a longstanding defence relationship to your friend. Are the interests of our soldiers secondary to your financial needs?” he said.

Jairam alleged that Gautam Adani had accompanied the prime minister on a number of foreign trips.

“Since your 4-6 July 2017 visit to Israel, you have given him a powerfully lucrative role in the India-Israel defence relationship. With your blessings, he has set up ventures with Israeli firms covering areas as varied as drones, electronics, small arms and aircraft maintenance. Given that the Adani Group has faced credible allegations regarding offshore shell companies for some years, is it in the national interest to hand over such a critical defence relationship to one questionable conglomerate? Is there a quid pro quo for you and the ruling party?” he said. -IANS

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