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'Indian Army capable of giving befitting reply to any power looking at India with evil intentions'

NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday asserted that the Indian Army has the capability to give a befitting reply to any power looking at the country with evil intentions and when it engages with China now, it does so on an equal footing.

Singh made these remarks at an event to release a five-volume book on Deendayal Upadhyay in the presence of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.

When China conducted the first nuclear test in 1964, Deendayal Upadhyay was the first one who spoke in favour of India conducting its nuclear test, Singh said.

When India carried out its first nuclear tests in 1998 in Rajasthan under the leadership of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the idea was not to use the weapon against any country but to maintain a deterrent, he said.

"Because of that deterrence, the Indian Army today has full confidence of self-defence. Today in 2022, when India's army engages with China, it does so on an equal footing.

"If any power looks towards India with evil intention, Indian soldiers have the capability to give a befitting reply," he said.

Singh said the country's goal is not only to make items for its needs, but also to export defence items to other countries. "I can say we are moving fast towards fulfilling the dreams of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay," he said.

He told the gathering that the Defence Ministry has issued three "positive indigenisation lists" of 310 defence items which will not be procured from outside under any circumstances after a deadline.

All those equipment will be made in India.

"You will be happy to know that we have earmarked a major part of our budget for buying only from domestic vendors," he told the gathering.

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