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Congress Stalled Aatmanirbharta In Defence, Now Seeks Piece Of Pie

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By: Pramod Kumar Singh
Updated: September 2, 2022 19:37
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With Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioning the indigenously designed and built INS Vikrant (02), India joined the select group of countries capable of building an aircraft carrier on Friday. In his speech during the ceremony, the Prime Minister spoke about India’s immense talent and its potential to build and launch such large vessels.

The ceremony was not over yet when Congress launched an attack on the Prime Minister for ignoring previous governments since 1999, especially Dr Manmohan Singh’s government between 2004 and 2014.

Former union minister and General Secretary in charge of Communication of the Indian National Congress, Jairam Ramesh took to the micro-blogging site and said that it was a moment of pride for the whole nation. It’s wrong to claim this is entirely a post-2014 achievement. “India’s 1st indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant commissioned today is a collective effort of all govts since 1999. Will PM acknowledge?” he asked. “Let’s also recall original INS Vikrant that served us well in 1971 war. Much reviled Krishna Menon played a key role in getting it from UK,” he tweeted.

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Ramesh posted another tweet saying that “Our PM never recognises continuity in governance. #INSVikrant, commissioned today is a huge achievement but it was started 22 years ago – first Vajpayee Govt, then Manmohan Govt & then Modi Govt, there is continuity. It took 22 years and credit goes to all the governments”.

Let’s look into the allegations against Jairam Ramesh and their counterpoint. Due to the negative and nonchalant attitude of the successive Congress-led governments at the Centre, India had to wait for 75 years to get its first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier.

AK Antony, who held the crucial defence portfolio for eight long years from 2004 to 2014 in the UPA-1 and UPA-II governments, had said on record in Parliament that there’s no money for modernization of the defence forces and their equipment. It stalled India’s attempts towards making India self-reliant in the production of arms, ammunition, aircraft carriers, choppers, fighter jets and artillery guns.

For the first time, an indigenously built 155mm field gun was used for the ceremonial 21-gun salute during the Prime Minister’s address to the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort on August 15, 2022. This was made possible because of the “Make in India” push by Prime Minister Modi.

Also, India has achieved a quantum jump in the field of arms export and has exported India-made defence equipment and products to the tune of 40000 crore rupees. This was entirely made possible due to the policies of the Narendra Modi government.

The building and commissioning of the 100 per cent indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is another milestone and is expected to produce more such facilities for the Indian Defence Forces in the future.

As far as the claims of Congress leader Jairam Ramesh are concerned, the original INS Vikrant was acquired from the United Kingdom, while INS Vikrant (02) is indigenous. There is a perceptible difference between INS Vikrant (01) and INS Vikrant (02). The difference is Made in India.

The making of INS Vikrant (02) was a collective effort from 1999, when the Prime Ministership of Atal Bihari was the PM. And he was not a Congress PM. The project to build INS Vikrant was delayed because of the UPA government led by Dr Manmohan Singh, as it had then cited a paucity of funds to build such an aircraft carrier.

The question that should be asked is why the Congress party government didn’t make any visible effort to build and commission it on the Seaboard. It should now tell the people about the difficulties it has faced then? The “insufficient provisions for funding by the UPA Government on the Defence Sector” could have stymied the project to build this aircraft carrier.

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi used India’s aircraft carrier for the use of his family and relatives and allegedly compromised national security. While INA Vikrant (01) was used as a private taxi and army and naval jawans were placed with the former premier’s family, Prime Minister Modi is enhancing India’s maritime capabilities and restoring the pride of the men and officers of its defence forces.

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