Tumakuru (Karnataka): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, ahead of the assembly elections, hit back at the opposition’s attack.

Modi inaugurated the country’s largest helicopter manufacturing unit of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Tumakuru (a city about 70 km from state capital Bengaluru). Then PM Modi retaliated to the opposition’s attack on his government on the issue of Rafale fighter jets.

“Misinformation was spread in respect of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and many false allegations were levelled against our government,” he said, without naming the Congress, which has been strong in its attacks in this regard.

Regarding the unit, officials said bengaluru-headquartered HAL plans to produce over 1,000 helicopters of 3-15 tonne range with a total turnover of over Rs 4 lakh crore over a period of 20 years at this factory in Gubbi taluk.

The foundation stone of this factory was laid by the Prime Minister in 2016. The factory is spread over 615 acres. Initially, it will produce light utility helicopters (LUHs).

This centre will enable India to meet its entire requirement of helicopters indigenously and achieve the distinction of self-reliance in helicopter design, development and manufacturing.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and senior defence ministry officials were present on the occasion. “This is a dedicated new greenfield helicopter factory which will enhance India’s capability and ecosystem for making helicopters,” Singh said.

Assembly elections in Karnataka are due in May. Prime Minister Modi unveiled the LUH, which has been flight tested.

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