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‘Cease politics’ sermon with ‘dynasty’ jab

Modi wants questions to stop in ‘New India’

  • Published 2.03.19, 4:04 AM
  • Updated 2.03.19, 4:04 AM
  • 2 mins read
Narendra Modi at the rally in Kanyakumari on Friday. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said statements of some political parties were helping Pakistan and hurting India, almost suggesting that questioning him would mean supporting terrorists.

Addressing a public rally in Kanyakumari, the Prime Minister said: “The entire nation has supported the armed forces. I bow to the people for this. Sadly a few political parties guided by Modi-hatred have started hating India. No wonder while the entire nation supports the armed forces, the world is supporting our armed forces, a few parties don’t support our fight against terror. These are the same people whose statements are helping Pakistan and harming India.”

He added: “They are the same people whose statements are happily quoted in the parliament and radio of Pakistan. I want to ask them — do you support our armed forces or support them, believe our armed forces or believe those who support terrorism on our soil? I want to tell these parties — Modi will come and go. India will remain. Please stop weakening India to strengthen your own politics. In the matter of defence and national security, we are Indians first and Indians only. Politics can wait. It is the safety of our nation that is at stake.”

The Prime Minister was on an official visit to Tamil Nadu to lay foundation stones for various road and rail projects but, as he has done repeatedly over the past weeks, delivered a political speech targeting the Opposition on national security and corruption.

Attempting to milk the military actions after the Uri and Pulwama terror attacks, Modi said terrorists are paid back in a heavier coin in “New India”. He said: “Between 2004 and 2014, several terror attacks happened in different parts of the country. 26/11 happened. People expected those responsible to be punished. But nothing happened.”

Modi added: “There was a time when you read reports that the Indian Air Force wanted to do a surgical strike but the UPA blocked it. Today, we are in an era when the news reads: ‘armed forces have the full freedom to do what they want.’ Influence of terror has been curtailed.”

BJP chief Amit Shah said in Delhi: “Anybody expressing suspicion is helping Pakistan. These people should decide whether they trust our forces or not. The Opposition statement brought smiles on faces in Pakistan. We were in Opposition but we never did politics over national security.”

Shah forgot perhaps that Modi, who was then Gujarat chief minister, had travelled to Mumbai during the 26/11 attacks and criticised then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s address to the nation. He had demanded that a meeting of all chief ministers be called immediately.

The Opposition has criticised Modi and the BJP so far only for persisting with their election campaign after the massacre of 40 jawans and at a time when an Indian fighter pilot was in Pakistani captivity. It has also accused them of exploiting soldiers’ martyrdom for electoral gains. While saluting the defence forces and the military action, it has condemned the politicisation.

While the Opposition’s reference to the politicisation of the post-Pulwama air strikes was mentioned in Pakistan’s National Assembly, so was senior BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa’s claim that the action would help the BJP win more seats in the 2019 election.

Modi, who is advising the Opposition to cease political attacks in the interest of national security, said at an official foundation-laying ceremony on Friday: “People wanted honesty, not dynasty. People wanted development, not decay. People wanted progress, not policy paralysis. People wanted opportunities, not obstacles. People wanted security, not stagnation. People wanted inclusive growth, not vote-bank politics.”

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