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Defence projects held up during AK Antony's tenure as Def. Min., says BJP

Defence projects held up during AK Antonys tenure as Def. Min., says BJP

Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP Tuesday hit back at former Defence Minister A K Antony alleging that defence needs were not met during his tenure.

"Defence strategic clearances were held up during the period of Antony as defence minister and the department was crying for support," BJP national spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao told reporters here while highlighting the achievements of the NDA government's one-year rule.

Antony had criticised the functioning of defence ministry under the present regime last week.

Stating that the one-year NDA rule had restored the dignity of the Prime Minister's office, he said Narendra Modi has become a strong prime minister and all decisions were taken under him.

During the earlier period, "all cabinet ministers behaved as prime ministers and "Manmohan Singh was a weak prime minister," Rao said.

Rejecting congress' criticism on frequent foreign visits by Modi, the BJP leader said "they are attacking Modi to tarnish his image on these issues because Modi is very popular."

"Foreign visits have proved that Modi has become a strong global leader...Modi undertook the same number of foreign visits as his predecessor. In today's era, you cannot work in isolation," he added.

"One of the major achievements is that NDA could usher in a transformation government from a transaction government," Rao said.

During UPA's rule, there were no policies and programmes were carried out to benefit a few persons including corporates, he said.

"Now things have changed and government in just one year could auction the 20 coal blocks for Rs two lakh crore. This amount is more than the total coal scam amount of Rs 1.76 lakh crore comprising 234 coal blocks," he added.

"This betrayed the contention of Congress that scam amount was only notional. If it has no value, how could 20 blocks fetch Rs two lakh crore," he asked and termed the UPA government as "cash and carry government."

In this regard, he also flayed CPI-M and CPI and said "Communists were also responsible for corruption during the previous governments."

Both the coal and 2G scams had its beginning during UPA-1 which had the support of Left parties, he said.

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