Virtually targeting Defence Minister A K Antony and the government in entirety, Jayalalithaa said the Centre’s alleged inaction to modernise the defence sector had resulted in issues, including dwindling strength of naval fleet and manpower.
Referring to two submarine accidents that claimed about 20 lives, Jayalalithaa said “Naval Chief Admiral D K Joshi resigned owning moral responsibility for these mishaps. But I wonder why those responsible for this are still clinging to power”, she said but did not mention Antony’s name.
She said despite CAG’s observation in 2009 no anti-fire equipment were purchased for navy submarines which had resulted in fatal fire accidents in INS Sindhurakshak and INS Sindhuratna. The Navy and Air Force were suffering from depleted fleet strength while army was even facing manpower shortage, she said at an election rally at suburban Meenambakkam.
“Congress-led Central government has made the Defence department defenceless. The Defence Department has been ignored,” she said and reminded people that the Lok Sabha polls was an opportunity for them to rewrite their destiny.
The coming elections are also an opportunity to “throw out” UPA government and also teach a lesson to DMK, which had supported the Government at the Centre, she said.