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IANS Interview: Defence sector moving fast towards self-reliance under NDA, says Rajnath Singh

22 May, 2024 19:00 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of crossing the 400 mark in ongoing Lok Sabha polls and after five phases, the party has already taken a lead over rivals.

The former BJP President, in an exclusive interview with IANS, talked about the crisis of credibility that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has brought into Indian politics and slammed the INDIA bloc over its negative and cynical approach on matters of national issues.

Below is the full interview.

IANS: What was the reason that before 2014, defence exports did not see much gains, however, since then, there has been a significant increase?

Rajnath Singh: Before 2014, the government was heavily reliant on foreign countries for defence equipment. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, he emphasised the need for India to be self-reliant in every sector, including defence.

Since then, the defence sector has taken significant strides towards self-reliance. Around 2014, defence exports were around Rs 600-800 crore, but today, they have increased to over Rs 31,000 crore. We are aiming to cross the Rs 50,000 crore mark in the next five years.

IANS: What is your take on the reservations? Should it be based on financial conditions?

Rajnath Singh: The current structure for reservations is well thought out and appropriate. And you must have seen that we are the ones who fought for constitutional rights to people seeking reservations. And I believe they should continue in the future. One thing where our stand is firm and resolute that we do not support reservations based on religion. Indian constitution does not allow any provision for such reservation.

IANS: A couple of review petitions regarding Article 370 verdict have been rejected by the Supreme Court. What message do you have for those who think it should be reviewed?

Rajnath Singh: There are always people who create such a nuisance. They will keep doing something, whether positive or negative. However, it is up to the people of the country to keep a tab on them.

IANS: Supreme Court has given a strict stance on Manish Sisodia's bail plea, stating that he misused his power to betray the public trust. What do you have to say?

Rajnath Singh: I cannot comment on SC's directive. However, the 'credibility crisis' created by the AAP is unparalleled, no other party did this, ever. They once participated in the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare, who advised against forming a political party.

For once, they said that they would not form a party, but later, they did form it. Hazare also expressed his resentment when it happened.

He (Kejriwal) promised not to stay in the government residence but later created a lavish 'Sheeshmahal,' worth crores of rupees. They assaulted a woman in CM's residence. And on top of that, the accused PS was seen touring Lucknow.

IANS: PM Modi is saying he will become the Prime Minister again, but the opposition is asserting that it is difficult for the BJP to even secure 272 seats. What do you have to say?

Rajanath Singh: Let them talk. They often make irrelevant statements. They said Modi wouldn't become the Prime Minister in 2024 and that he was campaigning for someone else. I say that he will be the Prime Minister in 2024, as well as in 2029. Who are they to decide?

IANS: It is alleged that the BJP works according to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)’s plans. Your take?

Rajnath Singh: First of all, I would like to make it clear that I am a proud member of RSS. I am not only inspired by their ideology but also adopted it, and I am working as a politician for the BJP. I don't hesitate to say this. RSS does not interfere in the BJP's planning or programmes. They offer suggestions if asked and feel it is in the country's interest, but they never meddle in party matters.

IANS: The court's stance on Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is strict, yet he denies all charges. What is your take?

Rajnath Singh: I won't comment as the matter is still in court.

IANS: When we talk about Uttar Pradesh, do you think Mayawati will become a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in future?

Rajnath Singh: That decision is hers to make. I cannot predict anything regarding this.

IANS: It is being said that in Uttar Pradesh East, Thakurs seem to be unhappy. The same things are being said about Haryana. Your take?

Rajnath Singh: These are just irrelevant claims. There hasn't been an election when it is not said that Brahmans, Jaats or Kshatriyas are unhappy. These are just feelers meant to mislead people. No one is unhappy, everyone is supporting us. And let me make it clear that BJP’s only focus is justice and humanity and not caste, creed, or religion.

IANS: What is the political atmosphere of Uttar Pradesh as well as the country, if we talk about the seats?

Rajnath Singh: We will achieve the resolve of 'Abki baar, 400 paar'. Based on our analysis of the five completed phases, we are on track to achieve this goal.

IANS: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi gets a lot of support from Pakistan, even Fawad Chaudhry praised him. Why do you think that is?

Rajnath Singh: I was shocked when Fawad said 'Rahul on fire'. He admitted the Uri and Pulwama attacks were carried out by the Pakistani government, and now he is praising Rahul Gandhi. The country will decide that in these elections. And no one in Indian politics needs to worry about Rahul. The BJP does not see him as a problem. Many people work in politics, and he is just one of them.

IANS: Will we see any stringent action by the government in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK)?

Rajnath Singh: See, PoK was, is and will remain ours. There will not be a need for strict actions. The people of PoK will eventually want to join India, seeing the development in Jammu and Kashmir and India’s rising global stature.

Our economic growth is evident, in which India is now standing in the top 5 globally, earlier we were in the 11th position. In addition to this, many global firms and prominent economists are saying that by 2027, India's economy will reach the top 3.

Our brothers in Pakistan are aware of their country's struggles. The people of PoK will recognise this and want to join India. You must have seen, a few days back, flags of Pakistan were taken down in there.

IANS: The foreign press alleges India is taking action against terrorists on Pakistani soil. Is this a new India that protects its rights?

Rajnath Singh: Every country should protect its rights, and India is doing so. If a terrorist crosses the LoC and our soldiers fight back, we have every right to defend ourselves. And I feel that terrorism is something that needs to be seriously addressed on an international level.

Everyone should stress why Pakistan is giving shelter to terrorists. If their government can't control it then they should seek our help to eliminate terrorism.

IANS: Can India become one of the world's leading defence exporters?

Rajnath Singh: India has set its vision on becoming Viksit Bharat (developed India) by 2047, and defence will take a pivotal lead in this. I don't want to say that we will reach the number 1 position in defence exports soon, however, we will try our best to achieve that.

Not only in defence but also in other sectors, we want India to grow exponentially. I want India to become a world superpower, not to attack or take control of any country but for the well-being of the world.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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