Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the central government was working on a road map to transform India’s image from that of a defence hardware importer to an exporting country.
Addressing a gathering after visiting an exhibition on the Aligarh node of the Defence Industrial Corridor, Modi asserted that UP was benefiting from the “double-engine” government, as the BJP was ruling both at the Centre and in the state. The prime minister said even 75 years after Independence, India had to import most of its defence and military requirements.
“Now, the country is moving towards domestically manufacturing defence hardware including rifles, fighter jets, drones and aircraft carriers. We are aiming to break the image of an importing country to that of an exporter,” he asserted.
New industrial units of small arms, armament, drone, aerospace, metal components, anti-drone system and defence packaging products are coming up, Modi said and added that this will give a new identity to Aligarh and nearby areas.
Referring to the UP Defence Corridor, the PM said the Lucknow node of the project would soon witness an investment of Rs 9,000 crore for the manufacture of BrahMos missile systems, while the Jhansi node has also received a missile project proposal. There are six nodes in the UP Corridor.
“UP is a major cog in the wheel of India’s defence self-reliant mission and I, as a Member of Parliament (MP) from the state, feel proud of this fact,” he added.
Earlier, Modi laid the foundation of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University, Aligarh and also reviewed the Aligarh node of the UP Defence Corridor along with UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
“The Aligarh node has already received more than 18 investment proposals, which will create thousands of new job opportunities and manufacture small arms, ammunition, drones, anti-drone systems, aerospace solutions etc.,” Modi added.
He said Aligarh, which is at present recalled for its sturdy locks, will soon be reckoned for its defence manufacturing industries producing equipment to secure the country’s borders.
Meanwhile, the PM noted UP had become a major investment destination for both Indian and foreign companies owing to the proactive policies pursued by the Yogi Adityanath government.
“Not long ago, the development path of UP was riddled with corruption, mafias, scams and a vindictive governance system. However, under Yogiji, the state is reaping the fruits of the “twin engine” government and progressing at all fronts, including expressways and industries,” he added.
The PM said now the mafia elements were behind bars and the vaccination drive was in an overdrive in UP, which had so far administered nearly 80 million doses.
He also flayed the earlier regimes for ignoring the freedom fighters beyond just a handful select group of leaders. He recalled the name of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, a Jat leader, for playing an active role in the freedom struggle and contributing with his wealth too.
Apart from the foundation laying ceremony, Modi also invoked former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh and former PM Chaudhary Chanan Singh. This outreach of the Western UP pantheons by the PM is seen as preparing the pitch for the forthcoming crucial 2022 UP assembly polls amid farm stir led by Rakesh Tikait.
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