The Congress on Tuesday took a swipe at the centre for "politicising" the armed forces and compromising national security by "lowering" the morale of soldiers and insulting them through cuts in their spending.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said "empty slogans" and "fake chest thumping" characterised the government's narrative towards the defence forces in the past five years.
"They have sought to deeply politicise the blood and sacrifice of our armed forces and have taken systematic steps to lower the morale of our valiant soldiers. Budgetary cuts, lop-sided policy decisions and apathy towards the welfare of defence personnel and war veterans have been the cornerstone of Modi government's military policy," he said in a statement.
The Congress leader said last year's defence Budget was merely 1.58 per cent (Rs 2,85,423 crore) of GDP, the "lowest" allocation since 1962.
"(And) the interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in his interim budget speech 2019-20 boastfully said 'our defence budget will be crossing Rs 3,00,000 crore for the first time in 2019-20'. The fact of the matter is that the budgetary allocation for 2019-2020 has witnessed a meagre increase of 6.69 per cent," Mr Surjewala said.
"The share of the defence budget in total GDP has been on a free fall since the Congress-UPA demitted office. Why? The Modi government has Rs 5,000 crore to spend on its self-promotion, publicity and advertisement blitzing, but doesn't have money for the salary, emoluments and weaponry of our jawans at the border. Only 70 days are left, and people of India have already started showing the exit route to the Modi government," he said.