"That HAL does not have money to even pay salaries should not come as a surprise," Rahul Gandhi said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "weakening" the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to help his "suit-boot" friend.
His allegation came after a media report claimed that HAL), grappling with low finances has been forced to borrow money to pay salaries to its employees.
"That HAL does not have money to even pay salaries should not come as a surprise to anyone," Rahul Gandhi said in a Facebook post.
"Rafale had been taken away from HAL, and "now to complete the job, the suit-boot friend needs people who are in HAL. Without weakening HAL, this work cannot be done. The Chowkidar (watchman) is being true to his friendship, he has nothing to do with the country's good or bad," he added.
Earlier, Congress leaders accused the government of "squandering" the assets of public sector undertakings such as HAL and ONGC to "favour a select few".
Citing reports, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "Under Modiji, India''s largest public sector defence unit HAL does not even have enough cash to pay salaries to its employees. For the first time in 70 years, they were forced to borrow Rs 1000 crore. Despite that, no Rafale contract for them Apathetic!" he tweeted.
The Congress has been alleging that the government favoured Anil Ambani's firm over HAL in the Rafale jet deal.
Disclaimer: NDTV has been sued for 10,000 crores by Anil Ambani's Reliance Group for its coverage of the Rafale deal