New Delhi [India]: Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday accused the Congress of not taking steps for supplying defence forces with modern equipment despite India being surrounded by two hostile neighbours and said during the tenure of AK Antony as defence minister in UPA governments “not even one type of weapon was purchased for Army, Navy or Airforce”.
Amarinder Singh, who formally joined the BJP at the party headquarters on Monday, said necessary weapons are being procured by the BJP-led government.
Punjab Lok Congress, headed by Amarinder Singh, also merged with the BJP.
Amarinder Singh said it is time to join a party that is looking after the interests of the country.
He said China had gone ahead of India in terms of modern defence equipment and “it is fault of Congress”.
“We are hemmed in by two hostile nations China and Pakistan and we (Punjab) are the ones suffering. It is our duty to protect our state and country. Unfortunately, China is way ahead of us in weaponry and it is the fault of Congress. I am not saying this because I am no longer part of Congress but I don’t think that in the four terms that AK Anthony was there, not even a one type of weapon was ever purchased for Army, Navy or Airforce. Now weaponry is coming which is necessary for us if we are to secure our nation”.
Antony was Union Defence Minister for the most part of the two Congress-led UPA governments from 2004 to 2014.
Amarinder Singh BJP was looking after the interests of the country.
“Now is the time that we should think that what we should do for our country and for ourselves… we have seen with Congress for so many years and now is the time that we should go to a party that looks after the interest of the country and that is BJP,” he said.
Amarinder Singh also referred to efforts by Pakistan to create trouble in Punjab.
“Punjab is a border state, and I have seen our relations with Pakistan deteriorating…Drones are coming into our territory now to create complete chaos in Punjab. China is also not far from us. It’s our duty to protect our state and the country,” he said.
Further, Amarinder thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Party President JP Nadda for welcoming him.
“I am today grateful to the PM, Home Minister and President Nadda Ji for welcoming… We are a local party but we have grown with time and we have made our reach and support in Himachal Pradesh too…”
Amarinder Singh formally joined the BJP on Monday at the party headquarters here in presence of union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Kiren Rijiju.
Earlier in the day, Amarinder Singh met BJP chief JP Nadda in Delhi.
Law Minister Kiren Rijiju hailed Amarinder Singh for joining the party and said the right-thinking people of the country should be united.
“A sensitive state like Punjab should be handled carefully. During his tenure as CM, he never kept politics before national security,” Rijiju said.
Amarinder made the announcement of joining the BJP after he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on September 12 in Delhi.
Amarinder Singh served Congress for long years and resigned as Chief Minister in September last year ahead of assembly polls.
He later also resigned from the Congress and formed Punjab Lok Congress which tied up with BJP and SAD (Sanyukt) for the assembly polls held early this year.
Amarinder Singh’s joining the BJP is a big shot in the arm for the party in the border state. The BJP now has a credible Sikh face in Punjab who has been active in state politics for several decades. (ANI)