Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh was left red-faced as one of its cabinet ministers, Om Prakash Rajbhar, claimed that corruption had increased under the current government.
A BJP spokesperson, however, rubbished the minister’s claim as an attempt to “garner cheap publicity” adding that if Rajbhar had any grievances, he should air them at an appropriate forum.
“There is more corruption prevailing under the BJP regime as compared to the previous SP and BSP regimes. Though I am a part of this government, this is not my government…We have an alliance with the BJP,” Rajbhar said over the phone.
Rajbhar, who leads BJP ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), also said that his party was not getting the due respect under the present government.
“I have talked to the chief minister on these issues,” he said.
Asked whether his party would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with the BJP, Rajbhar said it depended on the BJP.
“It depends on the BJP whether it wants an alliance with us or not. Like local body polls, if the BJP does not forge an alliance with us, we will contest the Lok Sabha polls alone,” he said.
On the violence in Kasganj, Rajbhar said the incident was unfortunate and claimed some officers were defaming the government.
Reacting to the charges about corruption levelled by Rajbhar, state BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said that it was not the tradition of his party to break pre-poll alliances.
“The statement by Om Prakash Rajbhar, who is a Cabinet minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, is simply to garner some cheap publicity,” Tripathi said.
Rajbhar is a responsible minister and if he has grievances against the government, then he should air them at an appropriate forum, and not publicly declare them, he said.
“It seems that he is behaving as an opposition leader. And, if he has some serious problems with the BJP, then he can leave the government,” Tripathi said.
The SBSP, which has four MLAs in the 403-member UP Assembly, had contested the Uttar Pradesh civic polls separately. It had even contested a few seats in the Gujarat Assembly elections on its own, asserting that its alliance with the BJP was not at the national level.
Forces capable of giving befitting reply to those who cast evil eye on us: Rajnath
New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said India has never been the aggressor but its armed forces are capable of giving a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on it.
The Navy has maintained vigilance to ensure that 26/11 is not repeated, Singh added while addressing the media at the Naval Commanders Conference. India, he said, has never been “offensive”.
“It’s character is such that it has not attacked any country nor conquered even an inch of land belonging to another nation. But the armed forces have the capability and strength to give a befitting reply to anyone who casts an evil eye on us,” the minister said.
He was responding to a query on Pakistan’s Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed reported statement that his country would retaliate against India with a nuclear attack for targeting Pakistani military posts in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tangadhar sector.
According to Indian Army officials, there was unprovoked firing by Pakistan in the sector on the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday. On Sunday, the Indian Army retaliated by launching heavy artillery attacks, targeting at least four terror camps and several Pakistani military positions opposite the Tangadhar sector along the Line of Control, officials said. Discussing the Indian
Navy, the defence minister said he was confident that India’s seas are safe in the hands of the force.
“Our Indian Navy’s resolve is that 26/11 will not be repeated under any circumstances and it has ensured tight vigil,” he said, referring to the November 2008 terror siege of Mumbai. The Indian
Navy is marching towards indigenisation and its ships have a high percentage of indigenous equipment, Singh added. The minister also said all three services have placed emphasis on the need to reduce defence imports.
“All the three forces are also working to pick up niche technologies to meet the challenges,” he said. The three-day second edition of Naval Commanders’ Conference began here on Tuesday. The conference is the apex level biannual event for interaction between Naval commanders for the deliberation and formulation of important policy decisions.
Next war with indigenised weapons: Army chief
New Delhi, Oct 15: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said the Defence Research and Development Organisation has made strides in ensuring that requirement of the country’s defence services are met through home-grown solutions, adding that the next war will be fought and won through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.
Speaking at the 41st DRDO Directors Conference, Rawat said: “The DRDO has made strides in ensuring that requirements of the services are met through home-grown solutions. We are confident that we will fight and win the next war through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.”
With a network of 52 laboratories, the government agency DRDO is charged with the military’s research and development covering various fields like aeronautics, land combat engineering, armaments, electronics, missiles, and naval systems.
The Army chief said that the Defence industry of India is a budding industry and the time has now come to look at the development of systems for future warfare and start preparing for “non-contact warfare.”
Rawat asserted that along with artificial intelligence, the future lies in the development of cyber, space technology, laser, electronic warfare and robotics.
“We are looking at systems for future warfare. We have to start looking at development of cyber, space, laser, electronic and robotic technologies and artificial intelligence,” he said.
The Army chief said that if the timeline between the design development and production of any weapon system of equipment is to be reduced then it would be better to embed the service officers along with Research and Development.
Calling for joint research by Army officials and DRDO, he said: “In a joint project, the success and failures will become a joint responsibility and we will not start pointing fingers at each other.”
On the occasion, Rawat recalled APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary stating that the late President had set benchmarks and standards for the Defence Research and Development (R and D) community, which is a challenge for scientists who are now emerging.
“I am quite sure the scientists will live up to those expectations,” he said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were also present at the event. (IANS)
Major shift in govt’s way of handling ‘terrorism’: IAF chief on Balakot
New Delhi: The strategic relevance of Balakot air strikes is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism, Air Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Tuesday.
In his Air Force Day message, the Air Chief said, “The strategic relevance of this (Balakot air strikes) is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in the government’s way of handling militant attacks.”
Stressing that the present security environment in the neighbourhood is a case of serious concern, the Air Chief said Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installations.
Earlier, the Chiefs of three services paid floral tributes at the national war memorial on the occasion of 87th Air Force Day.
“On February 26 this year, the IAF successfully struck camps located at Balakot. On the next day, the IAF successfully thwarted Pakistan Air Force’s attempts to attack our military establishments. In the aerial engagement that followed we shot down a PAF F-16 fighter aircraft and lost a MiG-21,” the IAF chief said in his remarks during Air Force Day press conference on October 4.