Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit of Gujarat, said Monday that had the Rafale fighter jets been acquired in time before the air strikes, it would have made a difference.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi had slammed the Prime Minister earlier on Sunday for accusing the opposition over the delay in the procurement of the Rafale fighter aircraft.
“Dear PM, Have you no shame at all? YOU stole 30,000 Cr and gave it to your friend Anil. YOU are solely responsible for the delay in the arrival of the RAFALE jets,” Gandhi had tweeted on Saturday just after Prime Minister Modi’s address at the India Today Conclave where he said that the country has suffered due to politics over Rafale.
In a reply to this, PM Modi while addressing a public rally in Gujarat’s Jamnagar today said, “Please use common sense; what I said was if we had Rafale at the time of airstrikes, then none of our fighter jets would have gone down and none of theirs saved”.
“I said if Rafale was acquired in time, it would have made a difference. But they say Modi is questioning our air force strike,” he added.
Earlier in his speech, minutes after Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa confirmed hitting the targets at Balakot, PM Modi said, he wondered “why some people still want to question the forces”.
“It is natural that we all should believe the armed forces and be proud of the forces. Yet, I don’t understand why some people still want to question the forces,” he said.
The opposition has been raising questions on the impact of the strike at Balakot by the Indian Air Force.
India carried out “non-military pre-emptive” airstrikes targeting the JeM training camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from the Line of Control (LoC) early on February 26.
There were reports that over 300 terrorists were killed in the assault.