For Oppn, defence sector was only about brokering deals, says Modi

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Feb 2019 09:40:58



PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked the Congress, saying for the Opposition party the defence sector was only about brokering deals. Modi’s comments came after party President Rahul Gandhi recently upped the ante on the Rafale row by quoting a media report saying the PMO conducted ‘parallel’ negotiations on the deal. “From the seas to the skies, the Congress has several scams associated with the defence and in the process the party did not allow the modernisation of defence forces for long years that they were in power,” Modi said.

Modi on Sunday inaugurated the last leg of the Chennai metro rail’s blueline and declared six underground metro stations through video-conferencing. In the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minsiter O Panneerselvam and Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Modi flagged off Chennai Metro’s passenger services. The Prime Minister also laid a foundation stone for modernisation of Chennai International Airport, (Phase-II), a new integrated terminal building at Tiruchirappalli airport, and a 100-bedded ESI hospital here.

Modi also dedicated BPCL Ennore Coastal installation-- state-of-the-art and fully automated oil storage and distribution facilities, with a project cost of Rs 393 crore and a crude oil pipline from Chennai Port to Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limted’s Manali refinery. Addressing a party rally at Perumanallur about 13 km from here, he said the NDA’s work culture was different from that of the previous Governments. Targeting the Congress, he said “those who had got 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.”

“The NDA’s approach to national security is different,” he said and outlined that it was the dream of his Government that India be self-sufficient in defence production and where “our forces have all possible support they require in keeping our nation safe.” He referred to the “pathbreaking” step of creating two defence corridors one of which is in Tamil Nadu.

On the Opposition attack on him, the Prime Minister said their “political culture of abusing Modi may give them some space in television but the elections are fought on ones vision for the nation, not slander and attack.”
The good work of the NDA Government has made some people very unhappy and their unhappiness has turned into desperation and abuse for Modi, he said.
Remembering Congress stalwart and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the late K Kamaraj, he said the “great” leader always wanted a Government in power which has zero tolerance towards corruption.

“You have placed a Government in Delhi who is putting a lock on corruption,” Modi said. Modi began his speech in Tamil by saying “Vanakkam,” and added that he bowed to the “land of Tirupur,” which is known for its bravery. Modi referred to freedom fighters including Tirupur Kumaran for their sacrifices.

Even as Modi arrived at the venue of the meeting, slogans like “Vendum Modi,” (we want Modi), rent the air.
Farmers representatives presented him a silver coconut for announcing the maximum support price for copra.
Modi taunts Chidambaram, calls him ‘recounting Minister’: IN AN apparent reference to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday taunted him as a ‘recounting Minister’ of the UPA regime, describing him as ‘arrogant’.

Citing his Government’s step of offering tax exemption for those with incomes upto Rs five lakh, he told a public rally here that it was a reflection of genuine concern for the middle class, unlike the previous UPA regime.
After referring to this step , Modi said he wanted to recall the State of affairs during the UPA regime.
“There was a very wise Minister from Tamil Nadu,” he said and told the audience, “you know whom I am talking about.”

When the people responded loudly, he said,”right, the recounting Minister,” without directly naming the former Union Finance Minister.
Chidambaram, now a Rajya Sabha MP, won the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu by a slender margin of 3,354 votes after a see-saw battle.
Confusion had prevailed then as election officials delayed the declaration of the result due to a dispute in the counting of votes in respect of the final round.
Chidambaram, then Home Minister, was declared elected later after the votes were tallied again vis-a-vis the final round.

Modi had made the same ‘recounting Minister’ remark during his 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign.
Continuing his attack on Chidambaram, Modi said described him as “the man who thinks all the knowledge in the world resides only in his brain. In his typical arrogance, he says why is the middle class so worried about price rise when they buy such expensive ice cream and mineral water.”
“Mr recounting minister, the middle class does not need the taunt by you and Congress. They have rejected you and will continue to do so.”

Chidambaram, highly critical of the Modi Government, had days ago targeted it on the row over the “National Sample Survey Organisation’s data on high unemployment,” (as per the report of a business daily) and related developments. Taking forward his attack against the Congress, Modi said the good work of the NDA Government has made some people very unhappy.

“Those who thought power was their divine right, those who thought only they are bound to rule are disturbed. Because here is a Government that is working. Their unhappiness has turned into desperation and abuse,” the Prime Minister said. Taking potshots at the Opposition for blaming him at the drop of a hat, he said their answer for any question posed to them targeted him. Be it ‘agriculture or MSME,” the answer will invariably be “Modi, Modi, Modi.”
He said it was the NDA Government which took the initiative to shut fake companies,remove fake beneficiaries and ensure that middlemen no more roamed the corridors of power.