For Congress, defence sector only about brokering deals: PM Modi


FACING OPPOSITION attack on the Rafale deal, Prime Minister Narendra
Modi hit back on Sunday, saying that for the Congress, the defence
sector was only about “brokering deals and helping their own set of

Addressing a rally in Tirupur, he said: “From the seas
to the skies, the Congress has several scams associated with defence,
and, in the process, the party did not allow the modernisation of
defence forces for the long years that they were in power… Every
middleman caught had a link with some Congress leader or other… Those
who got the opportunity to rule the nation for years did not bother
about India’s defence sector. For them, this sector was only about
brokering deals and helping their own set of friends.”

He said
the NDA government’s approach to national security is different. “We
dream of an India which is self-sufficient in defence… (where) our
forces have all possible support they require in keeping our nation
safe… It is our government that made two defence corridors, including
one in Tamil Nadu. Such corridors will bring investments and job
opportunities,” said Modi.

He said the Congress spares “no opportunity to belittle our Army”.

said social justice was never just a mathematical equation for the NDA.
“For a long time, the Opposition has been spreading panic on this
issue. I dare them to give one instance when BJP altered the social
justice system… On the contrary, it was the Third Front government, both
DMK and Congress, who partnered to remove reservations in promotion for
SC and ST communities. It was the Vajpayee government that passed a
constitutional amendment to safeguard the interests of SC and ST
communities. The strongest amendment in the SC and ST Act was made by
the current NDA government,” he said.

Accusing the Opposition
parties of forming an “adulterated alliance of rich people to promote
their dynasties”, he said neither do they understand poverty, nor do
they have a vision to serve the poor. “Time and again, they have tried
to mislead farmers, workers and youth… Whenever an election is coming,
they will talk of some loan waiver, which neither helps a poor farmer
nor ends their burden. For the first time in India’s history, our
government spoke about doubling the income of farmers,” Modi said.

those in power genuinely care for the middle-class, it is seen in the
policies. I want to take you back to UPA’s time, there was a very wise
minister from Tamil Nadu, you know who I am talking about? The
Recounting Minister,” Modi said, apparently referring to former finance
minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who won the 2009 Lok
Sabha polls from Sivaganga after re-counting.

“This man thinks
all the knowledge in the world resides only in his brain. In his typical
arrogance, he would say why is the middle-class so worried about price
rise, that they purchase ice creams and mineral water. Mr Recounting
Minster, the middle-class does not need thoughts by you and the
Congress. They have rejected you,” said Modi.

Promising a
separate fisheries department, Modi said it would bring government
services to the doorstep of people. “Why didn’t the previous government
think of such ideas… Equality of opportunity is our commitment, that’s
why we brought 10 per cent reservation for the poor in the general
category, without altering the existing reservation in the country for
the Dalit, tribal and OBC sections,” he said.

several Centre-funded projects, he said: “When a nation is healthy,
development is faster. Some 11 lakh people have already benefited from
this scheme (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana); 18,000 villages that
were in darkness are brighter now. By 2022, we are aiming to achieve
housing for all, our 1.30 crore housing project has been completed in
the last four years,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Modi
inaugurated the last leg of the Chennai Metro Rail network connecting
Washermenpet and AG-DMS in Tirupur. Chief Minister Edappadi K
Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam were also present
on the occasion. He also inaugurated some other projects, including a
crude oil pipeline project from Chennai to Manali refinery and an
integrated building project at Trichy airport. For Congress, defence sector only about brokering deals: PM Modi