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Defence deals were ATM for Cong: Modi

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Solan (HP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday accused the previous Congress governments of using defence deals as an automated teller machine (ATM) for the party.

Addressing a rally in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district, Modi said: "India was dependent on foreign countries for 70 per cent needs of the defence forces during the previous Congress governments. It had been deliberately done as defence deals were ATM for the Congress."

"India had an 150-year-long experience of defence production when it became independent in 1947, whereas China had no such experience at that time," Modi said. "But now, China has become an exporter of defence production, whereas we are an importer because of the bad policies of earlier Congress governments."

The prime minister said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had tried to reverse it during the past five years, claiming that the defence production had been increased by 80 per cent.

Pointing out to Congress leader Sam Pitroda's remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, he said: "If you ask any question to the 'namdaar' (dynast) family, they say 'hua to hua' (It happened, so what?)."

Modi accused the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) dispensation of delaying the purchase of bullet-proof jackets for six years, which, he said, endangered the lives of the soldiers.

The prime minister urged first-time voters to vote for ensuring development of the country in the 21st century. He claimed that had the UPA government maintained the growth rate achieved during former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's term, then it would have been much higher now.

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