Modi addresses his first rally in Amethi

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed his first rally in Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency represented by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, since coming to power in 2014 and laid the foundation stone of a manufacturing unit for AK-203 rifles. These rifles will be known as ‘Made in Amethi’ and will help our jawans in encounters with Naxals and terrorists, Modi said.

Modi, who landed in the city after addressing a rally in Bihar’s Patna, said Amethi, which has traditionally been loyal to the Gandhi family, was the best example of his Government’s ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ (together with all, development for all) motto. “Those who voted for us and those who did not all are ours,” Modi said.

After laying the foundation stone of the unit, he said these modern rifles will be manufactured in Amethi under a Russia-India joint venture.

He accused previous Governments of neglecting the Armed Forces and their needs. He also said the UPA Government sat on the Rafale deal for years.

This is Modi’s first visit to Amethi after coming to power in 2014. He visited the neighbouring Rae Bareli constituency, represented in Lok Sabha by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, in December.

AK-203 is latest derivative of legendary AK-47 rifle: AK–203 is the latest derivative of the legendary AK-47 rifle. India has signed a deal with a Russian firm to manufacture 750,000 of these assault rifles which would be given to the Army’s infantry troops. According to officials, the guns would replace the existing India-made INSAS assault rifles in the Army, Air Force and Navy. After the rifles are supplied to the defence forces, the Government, in the next phase, would provide them to paramilitary and the State Police Forces. There is a possibility that 15 to 20 years down the line, all the forces would be using this assault rifle as their standard weapon. Apart from this, the Defence Ministry has already signed a contract with American Sig Sauer for the supply of 7.69mm 59 calibre advanced assault rifles. These would be given to soldiers directly engaged in counter-insurgency and other operations.

The idea behind having two different assault rifles is that the troops who are engaged regularly in combat with terrorist or Pakistan Army on the LoC, should have very advanced weapons while the others can also have an advanced rifle which is lighter and can meet all the requirements.

Russian President Putin hopes AK-203 rifles will help Indian security agencies: THE new joint venture between India and Russia to manufacture the Kalashnikov assault rifles' 200 series will be able to fulfil Indian security agencies’ requirement for small arms, Russian President Vladmir Putin said in a message read out by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here on Sunday. Sitharaman read out the message during an event of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi where he laid the foundation stone of a manufacturing unit for the AK-203 assault rifles.

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