It was the Prime Minister’s first public statement since Pakistani fighter jets violated Indian air space in response to the Indian Air Force targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said India “will fight, live, work and win” as one and nobody can create hurdles in its march towards development. “It is necessary to ensure that nothing is done to dent the morale of the security forces,” the Prime Minister said.
He was interacting with an estimated one crore Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in 15,000 locations through video conference as part of a massive outreach programme ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Modi said that the sentiment in India is at a different level now. “The country has a new confidence… Everyone feels that what was impossible is possible,” he said.
“The country’s heroic jawans are showing their strength on the border and across the border. The whole country is one and stands with our jawans. India is going to attain even more strength and development in the time to come,” he said, adding, “Our jawans are stationed at the border keeping the promise of our country’s security and capabilities. We are the citizens of a powerful India. Therefore we will also have to work day and night for the country’s development and pride.”
The Prime Minister’s statement comes a day after Pakistani fighter jets violated Indian air space in response to the Indian Air Force targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister said India should stand “like a wall” against terrorism.
“When the enemy tries to destabilise India through a terrorist attack, their motive is also to stop the progress of the country. We have to stand like a wall against their motives. We have to show them that this nation would neither stop nor its development would stop,” he said.
While interacting with BJP workers, PM Modi said that the 2014 election was a mandate for fulfilling people’s necessities, while the 2019 election will be about fulfilling people’s aspirations.
Modi told every booth worker present that he was giving them the responsibility of being in close touch with at least 10 families till the elections.
‘A slight mistake can bring back the era of corruption’
Slamming opposition parties, Modi said, “There are some people who, out of their ‘political greed’, want a ‘helpless government’. In such a situation, it becomes the responsibility of booth workers to make people understand what difference a strong government can make to the country.”
“A slight mistake can bring back the era of corruption. The country has not forgotten the coal scam, 2G scam, the Commonwealth scam,” he said.
Speaking about the Congress, Modi said, “In our party, a decision is not taken by taking into consideration what one person or one family wants. Rather the decision here is taken on the basis of what our cadre wants. Democracy is in our DNA.”
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the party would make gains in South India.
“The coalition government of Karnataka isn’t able to live up to the expectations of people. The people of Kerala are sick of UDF and LDF government. People of Andhra Pradesh have anger against the Congress and TDP. Therefore, I can expect a better performance in South India,” he said.
The Prime Minister advised BJP workers to keep three things in mind while using social media —positivity, honesty and accuracy — and share as much positive news as they can.
“The Opposition will try to misdirect you towards the negative path, but don’t fall for it. Enemy nations are also using social media to spread fake news and we should remain cautious about it,” he said.
Asked about the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ alliance of opposition parties, Modi said, “This is not ‘Mahagathbandhan’ but ‘Mahamilawat’. Those who didn’t see eye-to-eye are sharing a single stage today. This ‘Mahamilawat’ can put the country in an ICU.”
In a tweet, the Congress said, “It is shameful that while India awaits the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan, our Prime Time PM cannot stop campaigning even for a few minutes. We stand with our soldiers & will continue to question the Modi Govt on their apathy.”
“When the entire nation is standing along with the government as an Indian rising above politics, BJP is going to make a record of contact with booth-level workers ..even the BJP supporters are ashamed of this. The situation could be very bad but this suited-booted BJP will continue with its festivities…condemnable,” Yadav said.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal urged PM Modi to postpone his video-conference, saying the nation should spend all its time and energy to safely bring back the IAF pilot who is in the Pakistan Army’s custody.