Kanyakumari: Against the backdrop of the air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted that India is no more “helpless” before terrorism and will pay back for damage caused by terror acts with “interest”.
Addressing a rally here, he said the previous UPA government lacked courage to act even after several terror attacks took place across several cities between 2004 and 2014, including the major strike in Mumbai in 2008.
“India has been facing the menace of terrorism for years but there is a big difference now. India will no longer be helpless in the wake of terror,” Modi said.
“From 2004 to 2014, there were several terror attacks. There were blasts in Hyderabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and other places. It was expected that those responsible for these attacks would be punished but nothing happened,” Modi said.
He said when people voted BJP to power with full majority in 2014, they wanted a strong government which could take “bold” and “decisive” decisions.
“Earlier, you would read that IAF wanted to carry out air strikes after the 2008 Mumbai attacks but it was not given permission. But today you read that security forces have been given a free hand to act,” he said.
He referred to the surgical strike of September 2016 and the recent air raids in Balakot in Pakistan and said, “After Uri (attack on Army camp in 2016), you saw how the security forces acted. After Pulwama (terror attack on February 14), you saw what the brave soldiers did.”
On February 26, Indian Air Force carried out air strike at JeM camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan, 12 days after the terror outfit attacked a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, killing 40 personnel. This is the first time since 1971 Indo-Pak war that the Indian Air Force carried out strikes in Pakistan.
“This is new India and this India pay back for damage caused in terror acts with interest,” the Prime Minister asserted.
Saluting the forces for their bravery, he said it is the vigil by those serving the nation that keeps the nation secure.
He said the influence of terrorists and terrorism has been curbed and will be curbed further.
The Prime Minister said the events of the past few days have demonstrated, yet again, the strength of India’s armed forces.
At the same time, he said a few Opposition parties have raised questions over the air strike.
“Sadly, a few political parties guided by Modi-hatred have started hating India. No wonder while the entire nation supports Armed forces, they suspect our armed forces. These are the same people whose statements are helping Pakistan and hurting India. Their statements are being happily quoted in the Parliament of Pakistan and in the radio of Pakistan,” Modi said.
“They should clarify whether they believe our armed forces or back those who support terrorism on our soil,” he said.
“I want to tell these parties that Modi will come and go but India will remain. We are Indian first and Indians only, your politics can wait, it is the safety of the nation that is at stake,” he added.
The Prime Minister began his address by acknowledging the Tamil Nadu connect of Indian pilot being released from Pakistan custody today and said that every Indian is proud that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman belongs to Tamil Nadu.
Talking further of the defence and security segment, he said, “We made ‘One-Rank, One-Pension’ a reality. Those who ruled the nation for so many years didn’t even think of OROP properly.”
He also took a corruption jibe on the past government and alleged that for many years, Congress promoted an economic culture that ‘benefited openly the friends and families of big dynasties’.
“Some people say corruption is a way of life, this would be acceptable to them but not to me. The corrupt now have to now pay for their misdeeds. The famous recounting minister who took pride in treating people badly, insulting middle class now had to apply for bail just like his party’s first family,” he added.
The Prime also said that the India of the 21st century has to work with speed and scale, which is what the NDA government is doing.
He also talked about the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi which was launched last Sunday, providing farmers with up to 5-acre land, monetary support of Rs 6000 in three installments. “Over 1.1 crore farmers have already got their first instalment in their bank account. A scheme announced on February 1, it became the reality in the same month. We worked 24 hours to ensure the scheme is implemented in 24 days,” he added.
Continuing his tirade against Congress, Prime Minister Modi remarked, “After doing nothing for farmers, they will come at the end and will say that they will waive-off your loan. In reality, Congress loan waiver benefits only a few farmers, whereas NDA in government’s Kisan Samman scheme, benefits will be given every year.”
“In 2014, it was after 30 years that a party got a majority in parliament. People wanted honesty, not a 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,” he said.
He also outlined the creation of a fisheries department by the NDA government and talked of similar development initiatives concerning local populace.
“The government of India is more sensitive towards safety and well-being of fisherman due to sustained diplomatic efforts more than 1900 fishermen’s have been released by Sri Lankan authorities. More ports are being created, the capacity and efficiency of existing ports is being improved”, he said.
In Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for several development projects related to roads, railways and, highways.
He flagged off Madurai–Chennai Tejas Express through video-conferencing and laid the foundation stones for the restoration of Rail Connectivity between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi (17.20km) at a cost of Rs 208 crore and also for construction of a new bridge at Pamban Viaduct (2.05 Km) at a cost of Rs 250 crore.