Amid Rafale row, Narendra Modi says defence projects pending for decades have materialised under his govt

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said defence projects pending for decades related to fighter jets and modernisation have materialised on the ground under his government which will take all "big and tough" decisions that are necessary for the country's security in the coming days.

Addressing the NCC cadets in New Delhi, he said India is a strong proponent of peace but it will not hesitate to take steps to ensure national security.

The prime minister also asserted that corruption cannot be a part of 'new India' and those indulging in graft will not be spared. The 'new India', he said, will give opportunities and respect to 'karmayogi' (the one who proves himself through his work).

Amid Rafale row, Narendra Modi says defence projects pending for decades have materialised under his govt

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reuters

"I want to assure you that your family of birth, your economic situation... this will not determine your future. Your skills, hardwork and self-confidence will give you results," he said.

The prime minister said his government is trying the replace the VIP culture with EPI — 'Every Person is Important'.

At a time when he has been facing attacks from the Opposition over the Rafale fighter jet deal, Modi said, "Projects pending since decades related to fighter aircraft and modernisation have materialised on the ground. Missiles, tanks and helicopters are being made.

"I want to assure the nation and the youths that in coming days all big and tough decisions will be taken that are necessary for the security of the country," Modi said.

He said a lot of important decisions have been taken for defence and security in the last four-and-a-half years and that India is now among the select few countries which have developed the nuclear triad.

The prime minister noted that whatever the government has been able to do, has been actively supported by the youth.

"You (the youth) took forward the cleanliness movement through the Swachch Bharat movement, you backed a tough decision like demonetisation aimed at fighting corruption, you played an important role in bringing in clean and transparent system through Digital India. You saved every programme from becoming just a government initiative," he said.

Emphasising that there was no difference between girls and boys, Modi said the government has taken steps to ensure that girls are connected to every possible opportunity.

He said women have donned the role of fighter pilots, an all-women crew of the Indian Navy circumnavigated the world, and now his government has taken steps to induct women in military police and take it to nearly 20 percent of the corp.

Modi appreciated the hard work put in by the cadets, many of whom come from villages and small towns. He said many NCC cadets have gone on to make the country proud. In this context, he mentioned famous athlete Hima Das.

Modi urged the cadets to spread greater awareness about the government's welfare schemes and to motivate the youths to vote in large numbers in the upcoming elections.

He said the cadets could visit several new landmarks that have come up in Delhi in the recent past, which are connected to India's heritage and great leaders. He mentioned the Kranti Mandir at Red Fort, and the Mahaparinirvana Sthal of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar at Alipur Road. He said a visit to these places gives new energy to work for the people.

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Updated Date: Jan 29, 2019 08:33:08 IST

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