Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the UPA govt of doing nothing for the armed forces during their 10-year tenure and lashed out at them for playing politics over the Surgical strike conducted by the Indian army in 2016.
The opposition, led by Congress, has been going on and on about how surgical strikes did take place in the past as well, and that the Modi govt had done nothing but just hype the 2016 move. But PM Modi shut down the arguments by mentioning that the UPA did not even meet the basic facilities demanded by the army back then.
"How could you even think of surgical strikes when you did not even provide bullet-proof jackets to the army. There was no communication device, no helmets, and not even good shoes...In 2009, the Indian Army demanded 1.86 lakh bullet-proof jackets. Even after five years, until 2014, they did not buy the equipment. And then they talk about surgical strikes? In 2016, we bought 50,000 bulletproof jackets, and in 2018, we provided soldiers will all the jackets. Had the UPA formed govt in 2014, India wouldn't have gotten Tejas, but would have been standing in the ground only. In 2016, we gave security for 83 Tejas aircraft. You never cared if the defence becomes strong. Why was this approach for the soldiers guarding our country? Why did you, in 10 years, overlooked the needs of our armed forces? You did criminal negligence. The country will never forget it," the Prime Minister said.
He then went onto the topic of Rafale, a deal in which there is corruption, according to the Congress. PM Modi set the facts straight on the allegations and also took a dig at the UPA defence dealing.
"Nirmala Sitharaman has given answers to every allegation (on Rafale). The SC looked into every matter. But the Congress party doesn't want India's Air Force to be strong. I am making this serious allegation. Whom are you trying to benefit by trying to cancel the Rafale deal? For which company are you fighting that you don't want Rafale? Who are the people behind it? For 30 years, you made a fool out of the defence. History is the witness that Congress and UPA cannot do a defence deal without middleman....I keep on thinking how they confidently lie about Rafale. Then I realised that Congress knows that in the last 55 years, no defence deal has been done without middleman corruption," he added.