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We will thwart infiltration bid across LoC: Sitharaman

| | BENGALURU | in Sunday Pioneer

India will not tolerate any infiltration bid across the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted and said India will not allow any infiltration bid along the line of control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir.

“I am here as Raksha Mantri to take care of our borders to stop infiltration. I will keep doing that irrespective of what is happening there (in Pakistan). Our stand remains the same. Every attempt of infiltration will be thwarted,” she said.

Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru on Saturday Defence Minister Sitharaman was responding to a query on any increased infiltration bid after the recent elections in Pakistan in which Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party with the cricketer-turned-politician set to take over as Prime Minister.

On the reports of prestigious bi annual air show venue to be shifted to Lucknow from Bengaluru Sitharaman said the defence ministry has not taken any decision so far but many cities have been asking for this. This according to insiders the ministry has decided to hold the bi annual aero India show  in Lucknow in November but the place is very much ill equipped to host the air show which is significant as India is going to sign many defence deals.

She said “Well, there are no announcements made yet by the ministry of defence as regards Aero India Show,” Sitharaman said but cited examples of similar events happening  elsewhere instead of the traditional venues.

“People in many places have been asking for that (Aero India Show) like the way in which the defence expo (happened)….. more than 10 editions have taken place only in  Delhi. We once moved to Goa. This time it was moved to Tamil  Nadu. There are cities asking for it. So, we have not made any  announcement as yet but sooner we will have the announcement,” she said.

Asked about Congress president Rahul Gandhi's statement that minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj had “buckled and prostrated herself in front of Chinese power” on Doklam issue, Sitharaman said Swaraj had comprehensively answered on it in the parliament and there was no point in repeating it.

She said she stood by the statement of Swaraj, who had told the parliament that the India-China face-off over Doklam was resolved through “diplomatic maturity without losing any ground” and status quo has been maintained.

Rahul   Gandhi had tweeted, “Amazing how a lady like Sushma ji has buckled and prostrated herself in front of Chinese power. Absolute subservience to the leader means our brave jawan has been betrayed on the border....”

He also tagged a media report on a US Congresswoman claiming China has “quietly resumed” its activities in the Doklam area and asserting that neither Bhutan nor India sought to dissuade it. The claim, however, was denied by New Delhi.

Asked about the “update” on India's move to procureS-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia for the Indian Air Force and if it was pending because of the US issue, she said, “Well, update on 2+2 dialogue is that it is happening on September 6 in New Delhi.”

The announcement of the ‘two-plus-two dialogue’ comes amidst prospects of India being imposed with unintended sanctions that are targeted at Iran and Russia.

The defence Minister refused to answer  whether Hindustan Aeronautical Limited(HAL) would suffer due to the Rafael aircraft deal citing parliament was on session.

Meanwhile the  Defence Ministry has agreed to part with some of its land in Bengaluru  for the state government's infrastructure projects to give a major push to Bengaluru's growing infrastructure needs and to ease traffic congestion.      Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave the go-ahead to the state government for using the defence land but with the condition that the city civic body, BBMP, will speed up the process of providing alternative land to the Defence Ministry.

“We have agreed that the state government will give us equal value land. They will discuss in the cabinet meeting and give us a resolution that they will indeed give us the equal value land, which is by rule the defence requirement. However, I have very clearly instructed my ministry to immediately allow construction and permission for work to happen,” said Sitharaman.

 
 
 
 
 

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