Congress Slams PM Modi, Says Cutting Army Jobs But Not Extravagance On Self Promotion

| September 13 , 2018 , 09:14 IST

Amidst reports that the Army is considering to cut 1.5 lakh jobs to save between Rs. 5,000 crore and Rs. 7,000 crore for weaponry, the Congress on Wednesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his extravagance on self promotion instead of giving the funds to the Army.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it was in "BJP's DNA to seek political mileage from martyrdom of soldiers" and that the move would worsen the unemployment situation in the country.

"If it is true that the Defence Ministry has a proposal that it wants the Indian Army to shed 1.5 lakh jobs, then isn't the Modi government guilty of destroying more jobs? 1.5 lakh families will be severely affected by this decision," Singhvi said to media.

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"If the government can spend Rs 5,000 crore in the last 4.5 years on publicity of the Prime Minister, why can't it spend that same amount for weaponry and ammunition for our armed forces?" Singhvi questioned.

He further alleged that PM Modi had "spent Rs 35 lakh on his fitness videos, Rs 60 crore monthly on updating his pictures on petrol pumps, Rs 1,100 crore on a sprawling BJP headquarters, Rs 2,000 crore on his foreign travels."

"The Modi government has earned a windfall of Rs 11 lakh crore by levying central taxes on petrol-diesel, it squandered Rs 41,000 crore by overpaying in the Rafale purchase but it cannot spend Rs 5,000-7,000 crore on the Indian Army," Singhvi said.

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The Congress leader also accused the Modi government of "systematically compromising" national security, blaming the government for the death of 410 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir since 2014 and 243 troopers in Maoist attacks since 2015.

Singhvi also cited the testimony of former Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Sarath Chand to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence which said that the Army doesn't have sufficient funds to pay for ongoing schemes, emergency procurement, weaponry for 10 days of intense war and future acquisitions among other issues.