During UPA era 'indifference', 'callousness' shown towards border infrastructure: PM

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said during the UPA regime 'indifference' and 'callousness' was shown towards border infrastructure development and asserted that work was being carried out at a fast pace in this direction by his government, including along the Line of Actual Control.

In his reply in Lok Sabha to a discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address, Modi said that for any country's defence, border infrastructure development is of high importance.

'But in UPA's time, indifference and callousness was shown towards it. We cannot discuss it publicly as it is not good from the point of view of the country's security. It was the result of the thinking that there is nobody there, there are no votes and when soldiers will go, they will go,' he said.

Without naming anyone, Modi also said that a former defence minister had even said in Parliament that, 'We don't develop border infrastructure so that the enemy does not make use of it.' Modi asserted that his government had changed such a mindset and cited that work was being done at a fast pace on about 75 bridges along the Sino-India border -- Line of Actual Control (LAC).

'We have also built hundreds of kilometres of roads. We have completed almost 75 per cent of the work and we will continue this work going forward,' Modi said.

The prime minister also cited the recent opening of the Atal Tunnel in Himachal Pradesh recently, to underline that his government speeded up projects that had been in limbo for a long time.

Modi also hailed the armed forces for their courage and services.

'I want to make it clear that whenever there is a challenge before the country, the capability of our armed forces is such that they will never let a situation arise that the country is let down, I am confident of it,' Modi said.

'Whatever responsibility has been given to them, they are fulfilling that responsibility even in harsh conditions. We are proud of our army, our brave hearts and their capability,' he said.

His remarks come amid a military standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh since May 5 last year.

Close to 100,000 Indian and Chinese troops are deployed in eastern Ladakh amid continuing diplomatic and military talks to find an amicable solution to the standoff. PTI ASK ASK ANB ANB