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If Congress's 'Garibi Hatao' Worked, Why Does it Need NYAY, Asks Nirmala Sitharaman

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman expressed confidence that there will be a time when women will be heading male dominated ministries like Home Ministry and men helping women through heading the Women and Child Development ministry.


Updated:April 1, 2019, 10:20 AM IST

New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the country is on top priority and there is no relation between Balakot airstrikes and Lok Sabha elections, even though BJP is taking credit for the decisive leadership.

Speaking at a News 18 Agenda India session, Sitharaman said, Pakistan is a haven for terrorists and it is encouraging terror activities.

“We are saying it without fear, there is a neighbour who is encouraging terrorists. We are naming them, instead of saying across the border. We know there are terrorists camps in that country. It is Pakistan, we are naming them, and we are isolating them in international arena for violating norms of bilateral relations,” the defence minister said.

"Pakistan is a habitual breaker of law, denies involvement in terrorism but repeatedly uses non-state actors supported by men in uniform in every incident," she said.

The defence minister also opined that there is no wrong in BJP leaders taking credit for decisive leadership after the Balakot airstrikes.

During her address, she lashed out at Congress over its allegations on Rafale deal and NYAY scheme.

"There was no corruption in Rafale, it was part of a false propaganda, therefore Rafale has died down...so now opposition has moved over to Chowidkar chor hai, she said.

The defence minister said, “Congress had earlier projected ‘Garibi hatao’ and failed to deliver. They haven’t eradicated poverty yet. If Congress had done so, what is the need of NYAY?, she asked. “The debate of Rs 6,000 per month promise of Congress and Rs 6,000 per year promise by BJP for farmers is like quoting the Rafale prices and comparing our rates with theirs.”

She said, for the first time, we had a corruption free government and Rahul Gandhi has been calling PM a 'chor'.

The senior minister asked Gandhi to give proof on his allegations and said he himself is out on bail for financial misconduct.

She also expressed confidence that Prime Minister Modi will be elected again for a second term.

On Rahul Gandhi contesting polls from a second constituency – Wayanad in Kerala, Sitharaman said, “He has clearly been a MP and if you have served the constituency well, then is there a need to look for second?”.

She also dismissed comparison of Prime Minister Narendra Modi contesting from two seats with that of Rahul Gandhi.

“False equivalence is being created by comparing Rahul with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. When PM Modi contested from Varanasi, there was a question if he will not be accepted from anywhere else. But PM Modi proved them wrong," she said.

She also expressed confidence that there will be a time when women will be heading male dominated ministries like Home Ministry and men helping women through heading the Women and Child Development ministry.

The defence minister lashed out her critics who say that it is the Prime Minister’s Office that holds the power of defence ministry.

She said that the prime minister definitely wants to have more understanding of each ministry and he understands every ministry.

During the summit she honored the families of soldiers who died and said their sacrifices cannot be forgotten.

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