Amethi, Mar 3 : The AK-203 assault rifles, to be manufactured here in Amethi, will be exported after supplying more than seven lakh for the Indian security personnel, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Sunday. "This is my first trip to Amethi because of the Indo-Russian collaboration between the Indian Ordinance Board and Russia, due to which the ordinance factory at Amethi's Korwa was set up," Ms Sitharaman said here.
She said the company would produce AK-203 Kalashnikov rifles, which is the latest of the AK series, manufactured by Russia.
"At first, the component would be exported but in the next three years, all the equipment would be manufactured locally, giving a boost to the employment," she said.
The Minister said Amethi will now join the other six cities of the state in the Defence corridor, already announced by the Centre.
During her speech, Ms Sitharaman also read out the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin, over the setting up of the joint venture.
"Welcome Russian-India entrepreneurship in manufacture of Kalashnikovs. For more than seven decades, we have been supplying Defence products and technology to India," Mr Putin said in a written statement.
"On Ak-203 initiative -- During one of my visits, me and my friend Modi ji signed up for the initiative. This will help strengthen India's economy, defence and India-Russia ties. My best wishes," the statement added.
Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of using derogatory language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ms Sitharaman. She also accused the Congress chief of not raising one issue of Amethi in the Lok Sabha, during the entire five-year term.
She alleged that the 'Amethi MP' had hurled abuses at the Defence Minister. Ms Irani further raised the issue of a local Amethi woman, who lost her son in a foreign land. She said the woman found help from BJP, but not from the local MP. In the last five years, despite losing Amethi, BJP has continued to help Amethi, Ms Irani claimed. (UNI)