Rafale jets to improve IAF's strike capability: President Kovind
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is preparing to welcome the new generation ultra-modern Rafale fighter aircraft in its fleet to strengthen its strike capabilities, President Ram Nath Kovind said today in New Delhi. The government has been facing attack from the opposition over the multi-crore aircraft deal. The President was addressing the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget Session.
Neglecting country's defense needs will prove detrimental, says Kovind
Kovind said neglecting the country's defense needs, even for a moment, will prove detrimental to the present and future. He said the new agreements relating to the defense sector signed last year, the purchase of new defense equipment and indigenous production under the 'Make in India' initiative have all helped in boosting the morale of defense forces and in increasing the country's military self-reliance.
Opposition continues to attack over Rafale, government denies allegations repeatedly
"After a gap of many decades, the Indian Air Force is preparing to welcome, in the coming months, its new generation ultra-modern fighter aircraft Rafale and strengthen its strike capability," Kovind said. The Congress and other opposition parties have been attacking the government over the Rafale deal, alleging corruption and accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of favoritism. The government has repeatedly denied the allegations.
'Through surgical strike, India has shown its new policy, strategy'
The President also referred to the 2016 'surgical strikes' carried out on terror launch pads across the border and said, "Through the surgical strike on cross border terror posts, India has shown its new policy and strategy." Noting that India has been a staunch supporter of friendly ties with all, Kovind said there's need to constantly strengthen the country's capabilities to tackle any challenges.
President mentions that India last year completed Nuclear Triad capability
Kovind also said that India last year joined the handful of countries that possess Nuclear Triad capability. Congratulating the security forces that are constantly striving to strengthen India's internal security, he said their concerted efforts have played a crucial role in reducing terrorism and violence.
'Government has fulfilled OROP demand, dispatched over Rs. 10,700cr arrears'
In the last few years, a record number of youngsters in the Maoist areas have come forward to join the mainstream, Kovind noted. "Our defense forces and their morale symbolize the prowess of India of the 21st century. Not only has my Government fulfilled the demand for OROP, but it has also disbursed arrears amounting to over Rs. 10,700cr to 20L ex-servicemen," he said.
Kovind talks of Police Memorial, India's diplomatic standing, stranded Indians
The President said the Police Memorial, which was dedicated to the nation last year, seeks to preserve the memories of the martyr's sacrifice. He also noted that due to his Government's diplomatic success, India's voice is heard with respect in international fora. "During last four years, more than 2 Lakh 26 thousand Indians stranded abroad have been brought back to the country," he noted.