Raising the pitch over India’s nuclear capability, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that his government, unlike the Congress, had refused to be intimidated by Pakistan’s nuclear threats and given it a “fitting reply” through the Balakot air strike.
Addressing an election rally in Rajasthan’s Barmer town, Mr. Modi said the strategic experts earlier used to warn that Pakistan had the nuclear button.
“What do we have then? Have we kept our nuclear bomb for Diwali,” he asked, while affirming that India had the capability to launch nuclear attacks from land, air and sea.
Mr. Modi said his government had inculcated fear among the terrorists operating from across the border and its impact was visible in their inability to carry out blasts anywhere in the country during the last five years. “Earlier, serial blasts took place at places like Ajmer and Hyderabad and on the Samjhauta Express train.”
He criticised the Congress for demanding evidence that terror camps were destroyed in the Balakot air strike and questioning the BJP for raising the national security issue during its election campaign. “If I do not talk about the military valour, what for am I here? To sing with a Bhajan Mandali (group of chorus singers)?” he asked.
Seeking a fresh mandate for the next five years, Mr. Modi said getting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in Parliament would be one of his first tasks, as three generations of “sons and daughters of India” had been facing oppression in Pakistan and elsewhere.
The Prime Minister also criticised the Congress for missing a “golden opportunity” of resolving the Kashmir issue by releasing 90,000 prisoners of war and returning Pakistan’s land occupied by Indian Army during the 1971 war. “The then Congress government squandered everything in the Simla Agreement and we are still facing its consequences. Imagine if I had been there at that time,” he said.
Earlier, Mr. Modi said at another election meeting in Chittorgarh that each vote for the lotus symbol would be a vote to eliminate terrorism. He accused the Congress of betraying the people of the country and failing to utilise national resources for meaningful growth.
Mr. Modi said the successive Congress governments at the Centre had failed to secure India’s rightful share in the river waters as per the Indus Water Treaty signed with Pakistan. A colossal amount of water had flown over to the Pakistan side, he said, adding that a ‘Jal Shakti’ Ministry would be created to solve the water crisis when the BJP was voted to power this year.