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Past govt. made national security source of income, all Investigations from Bofors to Helicopter leading to same family: PM Modi


ANI Politics
Unveiling the National War Memorial here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday targeted the Congress, saying it had made defence purchases a "source of income" during its rule and that investigations in all cases from Bofors to AgustaWestland helicopter deal pointed towards the "first family", a reference to the Gandhi family.
He alleged that the previous Congress governments had committed the "sin" of neglecting the national security and the armed forces and was now using its full force to stall the Rafale fighter procurement.
Addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen at the event, the Prime Minister said his "strong government" had taken steps towards strengthening the national security and enhancing the country's prestige and that "more such steps will be taken in that direction in the coming days".
"We have shown how impossible can be made possible. For the prestige of the country, this 'pradhan sevak' (chief servant) will take decisions in the country's interests," he said.
Listing various decisions taken by his government, like implementation of 'One rank, one pension' (OROP) and procurement of weapons and other requirements for the armed forces, he said these were aimed at strengthening armed forces and the national security.
"But for some people, a family is bigger than the nation," Modi said, in an apparent reference to the Congress and the Gandhi family.
"From schools to hospitals, from highways to airports, from stadiums to awards, we saw that only one family's name was attached. Its implication was that India's greatness and traditions were never given a priority," he said.
"They spared no effort in playing with the security of the country," the Prime Minister said, targeting the Congress.
He said that in 2009, the Army sought 1.75 lakh bullet proof vests as the soldiers were combating heavily-armed terrorists without such protection but in 5 years (till 2014), the required bullet proof vests were not bought.
"Our government procured more than 2.3 lakh bullet proof vests. Was a sin committed or not? On whose face is this blot? Similar criminal lapses were made in the area of security. They used defence purchases as a source of income. From Bofors to (AgustaWestland VVIP) helicopter deal, all investigations are pointing towards only one family, which says a lot," Modi said.
"Now, the same people are using their full force to see that Rafale fighter does not come to the country. But when, in some months, the first Rafale jet flies in the Indian skies, their efforts will fail," he said.
Although he did not name anyone, he was apparently referring to Congress President Rahul Gandhi who is alleging corruption in the Rafale deal.

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First Published: Feb 25 2019 | 6:47 PM IST

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