UPA govt weakened country`s defence: Jayalalithaa

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 18:55

Chennai: Continuing her diatribe against the Congress-led UPA government, AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday accused it of failing to modernise the Indian armed forces and turning the defence sector a `defenceless` one.

Virtually targeting Defence Minister AK Antony and the government in entirety, Jayalalithaa said the Centre`s alleged inaction to modernise the defence sector had resulted in issues including dwindling strength of naval fleet and manpower.

Referring to two submarine accidents that claimed about 20 lives, Jayalalithaa said without mentioning Antony`s name: "Naval Chief Admiral DK Joshi resigned owning moral responsibility for these mishaps. But I wonder why those responsible for this are still clinging to power".

She said despite CAG`s observation in 2009 no anti-fire equipment were purchased for navy submarines which had resulted in fatal fire accidents in INS Sindhurakshak and INS Sindhuratna.

The Navy and Air Force were suffering from depleted fleet strength while Army was even facing manpower shortage, she said at an election rally at suburban Meenambakkam.
"Congress-led Central government has made the Defence department defenceless. The Defence Department has been ignored," she said and reminded people that the Lok Sabha polls was an opportunity for them to rewrite their destiny.

The coming elections are also an opportunity to "throw out" UPA government and also teach a lesson to DMK, which had supported the Government at the Centre, she said.

Jayalalithaa, during her about an hour long address to a well-attended gathering, focused her attention on the Centre ignoring the sentiments of Tamils on various issues including demand for boycotting CHOGM, retrieval of Katchatheevu island, among others.
"Do you need such a government? I am confident that you will remove this government and ensure that AIADMK would have a greater role in the next government at the Centre to fulfil aspirations of people of Tamil Nadu", she said.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 18:55

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