Launching a blistering attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday blamed the erstwhile UPA governments for the delays in acquiring military hardware, claiming that the party was more focused on “commissions” from defence deals.
Addressing a rally in Uttarakhand's Rudrapur, he alleged that the Congress sat on the deal for the Rafale fighter jet as it was eyeing the “malai” (commission, kickbacks) from it.
He said the Congress’ focus has been was on “malai”, not on national security.
Modi accused the Congress of casting doubts on the valour of the armed forces after the surgical strike across the Line of Control in 2016, and not acting even after the Mumbai terror attack in 2008.
“When we destroyed terror targets in Pakistan they began crying over it. Do you think the counter terror offensive was not right and I should have kept quiet," he said, in an apparent reference to the Indian retaliation in 2016 and the recent air strike in Pakistan.
"It is the job of the Congress to cower in fear. The chowkidar (watchman) knows no fear,” Modi said in a reference to himself.
PM Modi began his speech thanking the people of Uttarakhand saying that Uttarakhand is the land of brave hearts and mentioned that the ‘Chowkidars’ of this land have come out in such large numbers to bless one ‘Chowkidar’.
“When we entered the homes of the terrorists and killed them then is it right to question valour of our jawans? Is it right to abuse our Army Chief? Will people forgive those who give anti-national statements just to become a hero in Pakistan?” said PM Modi.
Targeting the Congress over former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s ‘Garibi Hatao’ slogan, the prime minister said the family has been repeating the same slogans for last few decades but has not done anything to reduce the poverty. “Defeat Congress, poverty will vanish on its own,” said PM Modi.
Earlier in the day, addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, PM Modi launched a blistering attack on the opposition while keeping the focus on a strong government, saying his administration had shown the courage to conduct a surgical strike in all spheres -- land, sky and space.
The contest is between a "a decisive government and an indecisive past", PM Modi said at the BJP's Vijay Sankalp rally in this western Uttar Pradesh town a day after announcing that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite.
Calling himself the nation's 'chowkidar', PM Modi said, "It was this chowkidar's government that had the courage to conduct surgical strikes on land, sky and space. India should develop, India should be secure from enemies."
The BSP and the SP had now shaken hands, he said, adding that the 'bua-bhatija' (aunt-nephew) team of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav had showed the voters that their slogan for the elections is, "UP ko looto bari bari (rob UP turn by turn)".
Modi also attacked Congress president Rahul Gandhi on his mocking tweet congratulating him on World Theatre Day on Wednesday and said, "You all saw how India created history yesterday by achieving a feat in space to ensure we emerge stronger globally and to ensure our safety. But see the kind of funny things people in the opposition have been saying."
"It is both worrying and funny... What do you say about someone who does not even know the difference between a theatre set and ASAT (anti-satellite)?" he said.
Playing on the words 'saboot' and 'sapoot', the Hindi words for proof and good son, he attacked the opposition for seeking evidence of the surgical strike. "Do we need 'saboot' or sapoot... Those who seek evidence are challenging the sapoot."