Jaitley: don't politicise defence preparedness

Jaitley: don't politicise defence preparedness

The preparedness of the country’s armed forces and their defence mechanisms should not be a political issue for parties to target each other, said Defence Minister Arun Jaitley.

The minister was objecting to the Opposition’s highlighting of the shortage of defence equipment in the Lok Sabha.

Jaitley, who assumed additional charge of the defence ministry earlier this week, said the Indian Armed Forces are “fully prepared” to face any threat to national security.

“It will be better if we take a bipartisan view on the issues pertaining to national security so that a message is not sent out that no step is being taken for defence procurement in the country. I feel sorry that such an atmosphere was created. Let us not exaggerate things in a self-critical exercise,” he said.

Jaitley’s remarks came after Congress member Jyotiraditya Scindia criticised the earmarking of “woefully low” budgetary allocations to the defence ministry for the fiscal 2017-18. Scindia said the government had put the defence sector on the back burner when it was in dire need of modernisation.

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