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Modi Government needs to assure the nation about the steps being taken to protect, preserve and strengthen India’s National Security: Congress

9 January, 2018
In a Press Statement issued on Monday, Shri Randeep Singh Surjewala, In-Charge, Communications, AICC said that,India's National Security is being compromised by Modi Government Scrapping of Rs 32000 Crore ‘Make in India’ Minesweeper Project & Modi Govt’s opaqueness on INS Arihant are two glaring examples of this compromise. Modi Government must answer- Who benefits by scrapping series of Defence Deals and Important Projects? False Bravado, Chest Thumping and TV Studio Warfare are the tools employed by the Modi Government to manage the headlines when it comes to critical issues of National Security. But the reality and actuality of their tall claims are getting unraveled day by day. As the Modi Government completes 43 months in office, it has become increasingly evident that its directionless policies are harming India’s strategic interests and compromising National Security.
1. Modi Government has reportedly scrapped the Rs 32,000-crore project to build 12 advanced minesweepers at the Goa Shipyard in collaboration with South Korea, at once striking a blow to both the Navy and its own 'Make in India' plans in the Defence sector. Advanced minesweepers are specialized warships that detect, track and destroy underwater mines laid by enemy forces. Indian Navy will have to soldier on for the foreseeable future with a stark capability gap in detecting and countering naval mines. As China actively partners with Pakistan to build the $54 Billion worth China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through Balochistan connecting the strategic Gwadar Port in Arabian Sea which will base Chinese submarines, the Modi Government has reportedly shelved this important ‘Minesweeper Project’. Chinese nuclear and conventional submarines are regularly making forays into Indian Ocean and Strategic Experts have continuously pointed out the ‘String of Pearls’ which China is attempting in the Indian Ocean by leveraging its influence on India’s neighbours like Sri Lanka Maldives, Bangladesh etc. by building strategic bases at Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Chittagong port in Bangladesh besides extensive maritime facilities in Maldives.
2. Various news reports also indicate that India’s Indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant has suffered major damage due to ''human error'' and has been ‘left crippled’ now for more than 10 months. The Defence Minister should clarify the factual matrix on INS Arihant and when will it start operationalizing again. Shockingly, the absence of Arihant from operations came to Modi Government’s attention during the India-China military standoff at Doklam. Apart from that, news stories about the Indian Army looking to shut down the Rs 5,000-crore ‘high-tech soldier’ programme called the Battlefield Management System (BMS) project is also a serious
cause of concern. This project was meant to network the Army’s combat units and digitally interlink fighting soldiers, “providing them a common tactical picture in the battlefields of the future”.
3. Recently, in another jolt to India's Defence preparedness, the Modi Government cancelled a $500-million (Rs 3,177 crore) deal to buy 1,600 Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israeli state-owned defence company Rafael Advanced Defence Systems. 4. Congress Government had approved raising of ‘Mountain Strike Corps’ along the China border with 90,274 additional soldiers at a cost of Rs 64,678. Under Modi Government, it still lies in the lurch. 5. Armed Forces Demand for Defence Capital Budget was drastically reduced. Modi Government needs to assure the nation about the steps being taken to protect, preserve and strengthen India’s National Security.