56-inch chest rhetoric, weak action, mocks Congress

Last Updated 23 May 2015, 19:45 IST

Continuing his tirade against the Modi government, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the NDA’s record in defence and security. 

Speaking to reporters here, Singhvi said the government is unable to spend even 13 per cent of the defence budget while it had also cut down allocation for the 90,000-strong elite mountain strike force to defend the Chinese border. 

“This government talks of having ‘imaginary 56-inch chest’ but their actions speak different,” Singhvi said. 

“They have not been able to spend Rs 28,446 crore of defence budget by as much as 13%. Over and above this, they have cut down the Rs 85,000 crore allocation for newly created elite mountain strike force,” Singhvi added. 

Continuous flip-flopping in relations with Pakistan has contributed to the highest number of infiltrations from the neighbouring country since the 1971 war, the Congress spokesperson said, pointing out that infiltrations last year jumped to 746 compared to about 100 during UPA’s last year in power. 

“It is they who released Hafeez Sayed. It is they who released Masarat Alam. This government is a government of lectures and rhetoric,” Singhvi said. 

He said the NDA’s foreign policy is to bolster Modi’s image at the cost of the country and dubbed the China trip as a washout. None of the real issues such as stapled visa for those from Arunachal Pradesh or the dam on the upstream of the Brahmaputra were discussed, Singhvi claimed. 

“There is also no talk of the $40 billion trade deficit in China’s favour,” he said. “They could not raise any real issues, but cut down the allocation for the elite force by half on China’s protest.” 

He also slammed the government for failing to implement the one-rank-one-pension for Armed forces announced by the UPA last February.  

“The finance minister talks of fine-tuning, but the truth is that the cost of implementation is not commensurate with political gains,” Singhvi said.  Alleging that Modi’s decision to purchase 36 Rafale jets off-the-shelf breaks all legal norms of buying defence equipments, he said there was no talk of technology transfer.  “PM keeps talking of Make in India and says that additional 108 aircraft will be made in India but there is no talk of technology transfer,” he said, adding that the purchase was unilateral and is nothing but ‘make in France’. 

Singhvi asked the government to ensure Rafale’s manufacturer Dassault makes its deals with Egypt & Qatar –nations who had similar purchase deals to that of India- public. 

He said the government has done away requisite checks and balances of IB and RA&W in its haste to allow FDI indefence. 

(Published 23 May 2015, 19:45 IST)

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