BJP for debate in LS on defence preparedness

The demand came in the wake of recent scandal involving Indian Army`s orders for Tatra trucks and Army Chief concern over shortage of equipment.

New Delhi: With the country`s defence preparedness coming under sharp focus, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh on Tuesday sought a comprehensive discussion in the Lok Sabha on the sensitive issue.

Singh, a former Defence Minister, raised the issue during Zero Hour asking the government to come forward to allay the apprehensions being raised about national defence preparedness.

The effectiveness of the armed forces and the country`s defence preparedness was being questioned, he said and sought a proper discussion on all aspects of the issue.

Singh said he had moved a notice to suspend the Question Hour on the matter as the issue was of prime importance.

The BJP leader`s demand came in the wake of the recent scandal involving Indian Army`s orders for Tatra trucks and the Army Chief raising concern over shortage of equipment.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has also decided to carry out a "comprehensive" review of defence preparedness and bring out a report.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Army Chief VK Singh had reportedly contended that the forces were "devoid of critical ammunition" to defeat enemy movement, air defence was "97 per cent obsolete" and the infantry was crippled with "deficiencies of crew served weapon" and lacked night fighting capabilities.
The parliamentary panel, which is looking into the budgetary allocations of the Defence Ministry for 2012-13, is considering issuing summons to senior officials from the three services as well as the Defence Ministry on the issue of preparedness.


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