‘Congress ne­glected de­fence sec­tor, in­dulged in scams from seas to skies’

The New Indian Express - - TAMIL NADU -

The NDA govern­ment is putting a lock on the cor­rupt. This is how the great Ka­ma­raj wanted a govern­ment to be run

Naren­dra Modi

EVEN as Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi harps on al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the Rafale deal, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi charged the op­po­si­tion Congress with ne­glect­ing the de­fence sec­tor dur­ing its long years in power at the Cen­tre, al­leg­ing that the party had in­dulged in de­fence scams from “seas to skies”. In his sec­ond visit to Tamil Nadu in a month, Modi was ad­dress­ing a BJP rally at Peru­manal­lur, near Tirupur af­ter launch­ing a slew of com­pleted projects. Be­gin­ning his speech by list­ing rivers in the re­gion, the PM said a few words in Tamil and paid homage to his­toric fig­ures Tirupur Ku­maran and Dheeran Chin­na­malai, be­fore launch­ing into an at­tack on the Congress and op­po­si­tion. Not com­ment­ing on the Rafale al­le­ga­tions, he in­stead charged that the de­fence sec­tor was only about bro­ker­ing deals and ben­e­fit­ting friends for the Congress, which had “not al­lowed mod­erni­sa­tion of de­fence forces”. He said the NDA govern­ment had launched two de­fence cor­ri­dors, one in Tamil Nadu. Speak­ing of his govern­ment’s ef­forts to end cor­rup­tion, Modi, in­ter­est­ingly, in­voked late Congress leader and for­mer chief min­is­ter of Tamil Nadu K Ka­ma­raj. “The NDA govern­ment in Delhi is putting a lock on the cor­rupt mis­deeds of sev­eral peo­ple. This is ex­actly how the great Ka­ma­raj wanted a govern­ment to be run – where there is zero tol­er­ance to­wards cor­rup­tion,” he said. He re­it­er­ated that the govern­ment’s ef­fort to give 10 per cent quota to the poor in the gen­eral cat­e­gory was done “with­out al­ter­ing the ex­ist­ing reser­va­tion sys­tem.” Ac­cus­ing the op­po­si­tion par­ties against the BJP govern­ment of hav­ing no agenda but to dis­lodge him, Modi again termed the al­liance as maha mi­lawat (great adul­ter­ation). Sin­gling out for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram for crit­i­cism, Modi said, “There was a very wise min­is­ter from Tamil Nadu, the Re­count­ing Min­is­ter... In his typ­i­cal ar­ro­gance he said -- why is the mid­dle class so wor­ried about price rise, they buy such ex­pen­sive ice cream and min­eral wa­ter... The mid­dle class does not need the taunts by you and the Congress. They have re­jected you and will con­tinue to do so,” he said.

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