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KNZ NEWS DESK
PATNA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday excoriated his critics for “questioning Indian Air Force’s recent preemptive strikes” against militant camps in Pakistan.
Speaking at the Sankalp rally in Patna, Modi said “New India” refused to remain silent over the killings of its jawans.
In a scathing attack on those criticising the Centre’s handling of the rising tensions between India and Pakistan, he said: “At a time when our armed forces are fighting enemies across border and within India, some people are making statements to please Pakistan. When India should have spoken in one voice, 21 opposition parties gathered in Delhi to adopt resolution condemning us”.
The prime minister was referring to an opposition meeting announced to discuss the escalated Indo-Pak tensions in the light of the IAF’s preemptive strikes.
He came hard on opposition’s attempts to form a united front to take on the BJP.
“It (opposition) says to come together to finish Modi but we (Midi) say come together to finish corruption, terrorism, poverty, black money and generate employment opportunities for youth”.
He praised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar—his once ally-turned-opposition-turned-ally— for his government’s “commendable” work in the state. He said the alliance of Kumar’s Janata Dal-United with his own Bharatiya Janata Party in the state has worked to better the lives of people in the state.
“It’s admirable how they rid Bihar of corruption and crime. …The NDA government wants to ensure all sections of society in Bihar gain access to the best facilities,” Modi said.
“Infrastructure is being improved in Bihar. The BJP government is working hard on all departments—roadways, railways and airways,” said Modi, who began his speech by urging his audience to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai” thrice.
He said opening up of industries like a fertilizer plant in Barauni helped generate employment.
The prime minister then spoke about schemes his own central government had launched—such as the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme, otherwise known simply as PM-Kisan scheme, under which the government has earmarked Rs 75,000 crore for farmers having less than 5 acres of land. The scheme ensures that small and marginal farmers get an annual income of Rs 6,000 that will be transferred directly to them in three instalments of Rs 2,000.
He also took the opportunity to take a dig at the Rashtriya Janata Dal saying that he would ensure that the money for the scheme would not meet the same fate as the “fodder scam”—the multicrore embezzlement scam in the 90s that led to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav being jailed.
“Your ‘chaukidar’ pays constant vigil so was he being abused as the abusers fails to succeed in their mission now,” he said.
Modi also mentioned his government’s health schemes—primarily its flagship universal health coverage scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), otherwise known as Ayushman Bharat.
“We facilitated free health check up to 5 lakh to 50 lakh poor people in a year. We have laid foundation of strong New India. 5,0000 people were beneficiaries of health schemes.”
India’s “preemptive strikes” in the small hours of February 26 came days after 40 paramilitary troopers were killed in a militant attack in Pulwama.