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Manohar Parrikar Attacks Rahul Gandhi Over Defence Scams Under Congress

Press Trust Of India

First published: October 10, 2016, 10:57 PM IST | Updated: October 10, 2016
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Manohar Parrikar Attacks Rahul Gandhi Over Defence Scams Under Congress
Manohar Parrikar said he found “dalali” in several deals when he took over as the Defence Minister. (FILE PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES)

Panaji: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday hit back at Rahul Gandhi over his 'dalali' remark, saying those who "focused on profiteering" in defence deals fully understood the meaning of the word and that BJP does not intend to use army's "valour" for elections.

Needling Congress on the various defence scams during its stint in power, he said when he took over as Defence minister, he found "dalali" in several deals.

"When I became the minister and looked into it, I realised that there was dalali and scam in submarine deal, then in (AgustaWestland) helicopter there was dalali. There were allegations of dalali in Pilatus training aircraft (deal). After that in Embraer aircraft. Those who only focused on dalali (profiteering) fully understand what the word dalali means.”

FULL COVERAGE: Indian Army's Cross-LoC Surgical Strikes

"The BJP government does not understand this... this is why we don't intend to use the valour of the Indian Army in any election," Parrikar said.

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi had recently told a rally in Delhi, "Jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strike kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai. (You are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong)"

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Rahul's remarks that the Modi government was "profiteering" from the blood spilt by soldiers had drawn criticism from BJP which accused him of insulting the armed forces.

However, Rahul and his party maintained that they supported the military action but denounced "political propaganda" on the issue.

Responding to the criticism about credit-hogging following the surgical strikes across LoC, Parrikar said the BJP would never politicise the operation, but would surely speak about the political courage exhibited in backing the army action.

"We have seen severe criticism following the surgical strikes in PoK. We are being blamed for taking credit for surgical strikes and trying to gain political mileage from it.

"Let me make it clear, BJP does not want to take credit for the sacrifices of the Indian soldiers or their bravery," Parrikar said at public meeting in Mapusa town of Goa.

"In the last 25 years, none of the governments had the courage to take such a decision. Butthe Modi government took this courageous decision and we would surely inform the people about it," he said.

The armed forces must be given due recognition for the strike, he said, adding it was the DGMO which announced its success and not the government.

Parrikar appealed all the political parties not to politicise the issue and instead praise the bravery of armed forces.

Without naming Pakistan, he said the statements from the neighbour reflected the success of the surgical strike.

"We don't need certificate from anyone for the success of the surgical operation, it has already been certified by those against whom surgical strikes have taken place," Parrikar said.

The Defence Minister said those who feared that BJP will take credit for the success of the operation were the same people who would have lambasted the government had there been the slightest failure.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian army was ready to face any situation, he said.

"The political will, courage and execution power showed by Modi-led government has not been seen in the past. In future, Indian army will have so much strength that none of the nations would dare to look at the country with an evil eye," he said.

India had become so powerful now that the world was heeding its language of peace, he said.

"The country which is not powerful cannot talk of peace. Only the powerful nations are heard when they talk of peace. Today, the world is listening to us," Parrikar said.

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