Opposition questioning armed forces' assertion on air strike for cheap politics: Amit Shah


Hitting back at the opposition, BJP chief Amit Shah said here Saturday that those who did not have the courage to give a befitting response to terrorists and avenge the killing of soldiers when in power were raising doubts on the recent air strike for “cheap politics” and their statements have made Pakistan happy.

“The armed forces are saying in a press conference that we have conducted an airstrike and eliminated scores of terrorists. Can anyone have doubts about it. You should desist from such cheap politics,” he said addressing the BJP’s `Vijay Sankalp’ motorbike rally.

Elections should be about making India stronger in every sphere, uplift of the poor and giving Pakistan a strong response, and not about fulfilling the wish of a “family” to make its “prince” the prime minister, Shah said, targeting the Congress leadership.

Amid cheers from the crowd, Shah praised Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the Air Force, saying he came back to India after shooting down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter plane, “All opposition leaders are raising questions over the recent air strike. You were in power for a long time. The country is suffering due to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism for the past 30 years. Rahul Baba and company is blaming us for politicisation of the air strike…. The people of the country want to know if you have the courage to give a befitting reply to terrorism.

“Twenty-six bomb blasts took place in ten years of UPA rule, 26/11 (Mumbai terror) attack took place. Did Sonia -Manmohan government (the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi and prime minister Manmohan Singh) ever show courage to respond to terrorists, to take revenge for the killing of our soldiers?” he asked.

“They did not have the courage to give a befitting response to Pakistan. It is Narendra Modi who has fulfilled this aspiration of the country men.” “And you are raising questions about the air strike which was affirmed by Pakistan’s media, parliament and the terrorist organisations whose members were killed. Mamata Didi (West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee) and Rahul Gandhi did not accept that air strike took place,” Shah alleged.

The BJP chief also alleged that the language of the resolution passed by opposition parties at their Delhi meet after the air strike “made Pakistan happy”.

“We also spent most of our time in opposition but we never talked like this. We supported the government,” he said.

Taking pot-shots at Rahul Gandhi, Shah said, “What should be the issues in elections? Should elections be about someone growing up and wishing to become prime minister? Or some family wanting its prince to sit on the throne?” Exuding confidence that Modi would become prime minister again, Shah said, “The BJP clearly thinks that elections should be held for the welfare of 50 crore poor, to speed up and strengthen the economy, to make the country stronger and give a befitting reply to Pakistan.” Claiming that Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee asked whether the air strike actually took place and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav “sought inquiry into

Pulwama attack”, Shah said, “There should be a limit to vote-bank politics.” For his party, the country’s security was more important than elections, Shah asserted.

Referring to the crackdown on Kashmiri separatists, Shah said the Union government has taught them a lesson that “if they want to live in India, they have to speak India’s language”.

He also accused the Congress of “delaying” implementation of ‘One Rank-One Pension’ scheme for defence personnel and construction of the National War Memorial which was inaugurated by the prime minister recently.

The BJP will create a record on Saturday with one crore party workers taking out motorbike rallies at 3,800 places in the country to reach out to voters, he said.

Shah later led a motorbike rally through the town, riding pillion with Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha state unit president Abhilash Pandey.

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