National security is not an issue on which political parties should attack each other, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Lok Sabha on Friday. “National security and national preparedness are not political issues…,” Jaitley said while intervening in a discussion on the demands for grant for the Defence Ministry. “There are some problems that are there since decades, and there are some good systems as well which have been there for decades,” Jaitley said. The minister assured the house that Indian forces are “fully prepared” to face any threat to national security.
He also said that the government is working on making procurements faster and there will be no compromise on the requirements of the forces. “Procurement procedures are on. We are trying to make it fast. Any critical requirement of the forces will not be compromised with, even if we have to cut expenditure somewhere else,” Jaitley said. Earlier, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia attacked the government over not paying attention to the Defence Ministry, and took a jibe at former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for not being present in Delhi.
“Want to ask the Prime Minister, where is your patriot government why could we not bring progress in Defence. The answer is not mysterious, problems can be solved only when the Defence Minister is in Delhi,” Scindia said. As the treasury bench members objected, Scindia said: “I am referring to that Defence Minister, I knew you will jump.”
He also slammed the government for not taking action on a post Pathankot attack report by a committee under former Vice Chief of Army Lt Gen Philip Campose (retd). “Post Pathankot a committee was formed under Lt Gen Campose. He gave the report, it is still gathering dust and the nation got Uri and Nagrota,” he said. The debate will be later replied to by Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre.