Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday slammed opposition parties for demanding proof of the 26 February air strike carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
Addressing a massive rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan, the PM accused the Congress and other opposition parties of trying to demoralise the forces.
“Now they have even started asking for proof of the air strike. Why are Congress and its allies demoralising our forces? Why are they giving statements which are benefiting our enemies?” he asked at the rally.
The PM said that instead of motivating the forces the opposition was indulging in acts that “brought smiles on the faces of enemies of the country”.
“When there was need of speaking in one voice against those running factories of terror, at that time 21 opposition parties in Delhi came together to criticise Modi and the NDA government,” he said.
The PM’s remarks came a day after the Congress demanded proof of the IAF air strike in Balakot.
“I am not raising questions on the operation, but this is the technical age and satellite pictures are possible. Like USA had given solid proof of the Osama operation to the world, we should also do it for our air strike,” Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said on Saturday in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was among the first to have raised questions on the IAF strike and demanded that the government should reveal operational details such as number of terrorists killed and location of the bombing.
Amid escalating India-Pakistan tensions, 21 opposition parties had on 27 February collectively flayed the ruling BJP for “blatant politicisation” of the armed forces’ sacrifices and hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not convening an all-party meeting.
Attended by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, the meeting followed the capture of IAF pilot, Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman, by Pakistan and the downing of a Pakistani aircraft by India – events arising from the IAF bombing of the JeM training camp at Balakot.
The parties in a joint statement said that national security transcends “narrow political considerations”.
At the rally today, the PM shared the stage with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose party, the Janata Dal (United), is an ally of the NDA.
PM Modi said that the state is transforming rapidly under the leadership of the Bihar CM.
“I am happy to see Nitish babu give a new direction to Bihar,” the PM said.
Highlighting the achievements of the central government, the PM said that new roads and flyovers are being built and old bridges are being repaired as part of the infrastructure development of the state.
This is the first time Nitish Kumar and Modi will come together on the same platform after they shared the stage at a a political rally in 2009 in Ludhiana. It is also the first joint rally by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar since November 2005.
The rally marked the official launch of the NDA’s election campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Heavy security was thrown around the Gandhi Maidan ahead of the rally. Modi’s first rally in Gandhi Maidan when he was campaigning as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate in October 2013, was marred by a series of blasts that killed six people and injured nearly 100 others.