On Rahul Gandhi turf, PM Modi’s jibe with ‘Made-in-Amethi AK-203’ rifles
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday stormed into the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress president Rahul Gandhi with a slew of projects and accused the Congress leadership of compromising on national security.
Announcing the launch of a joint venture between India and Russia for the manufacture of AK 203 Kalsahnikov assault rifles in Amethi’s Ordnance factory, Modi said Amethi was the perfect example of the BJP’s policy of ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas’.
“Now, Amethi will not be known for a famous family but for AK 203, ‘Made in Amethi’. These rifles will help our jawans in encounters with naxals and terrorists,” he said and added that those who cheated Amethi also ignored the country’s defence needs.
The PM alleged that the Rafale deal was bitterly opposed by the Congress for the sake of commission and added that the first Rafale jet would be seen flying on Indian skies soon.
“Despite clean chits, they opposed the Rafale deal due to their own vested interests. But Rafale jets will fly soon,” the PM said as defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman applauded.
Sitharam also read out a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin hailing the joint venture with India.
The PM flayed the Congress for misusing the country’s resources saying that the Amethi ordnance factory, launched in 2007, was supposed to begin production from 2010 but nothing happened.
“Tall promises were made. Your local MP promised that he would ensure employment to 1,500 locals in this ordnance factory but merely 200 got jobs. Imagine those who couldn’t ensure jobs to people in Amethi are now lecturing on employment,” Modi said, adding that the AK-203 would be the best publicity for Amethi.
“AK 203 is the latest derivative of the famous AK 47 assault rifles which will help in arming the security forces besides giving Amethi a new identity,” he said.
Beginning his address with ‘Jai Ramji ki’ (a common way to greet each other in rural India) after making people chant slogans hailing the country and the security forces, Modi said the Congress leadership lied on all matters, including those of national security.
“Even demands for bullet proof jackets for our security forces were ignored. It is only now that the BJP government has begun procuring these jackets,” he said.
As he paused to have water, a section in the audience began chanting, “Rahul Gandhi chor hai (Rahul is a thief)”.
The Congress has coined a similar slogan against Modi over the Rafale deal.
Virtually pitching Union textile minister Smriti Irani as the BJP candidate from Amethi in 2019, Modi said: “We lost Amethi in 2014 Lok Sabha polls but won your hearts. Smritiji has continuously worked with you and for you.”
Amid accusations by the Congress of whitewashing its slogans hailing Rahul Gandhi as future PM, the BJP peppered the Congress bastion with hoardings and other publicity material announcing in local rural dialect, “Abki baar, Amethi hamaar (Amethi ours this time)”.
Modi also raised the issue of Samrat cycle land which he alleged was taken from farmers to set up a bicycle manufacturing unit which never happened.
Modi also unveiled projects including steel processing unit worth Rs 9,200 crore and various upgradation and repair projects.
The projects included upgradation of Amethi bus station and reconstruction of depot workshop at a cost of Rs 496.80 crore, construction of rest houses and shops at Amethi bus station at Rs 139 crore and construction of main building of primary health centre at Rs 167 crore.