IAF strike on Pakistan hurt some in India; says Modi

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NEW DELHI: Hitting out at his political opponents over the Pulwama terror attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi questioned why Opposition leaders are “pained” even as the valiant Indian armed forces have hit Pakistan badly.

Interacting with chowkidars (watchmen) and security guards across India over phone, Modi lashed out at Opposition leaders who, he said, criticised India’s response to Pakistan after the Pulwama terror strike that killed 40 troopers. The BJP said he reached out to 2.5 million people.

“We should be proud of our security forces who are always ready to risk their lives for acts of valour. On the other hand, our Opposition parties are raising questions after the Pulwama attack. Everyone is wondering why these leaders can’t digest the achievements of our forces and the way they went and bombed in the heart of Pakistan. Pakistan has been bombed, it has been hurt but these leaders in India are in pain and crying foul,” Modi said, replying to a question posed by Santosh Kumar, a chowkidar from Odisha.

“Vaar Pakistan pe ho aur bimaar Hindustan mein ho, this can’t be tolerated (it can’t be that the attack is in Pakistan and the reaction, in India,” Modi said.

Many Opposition leaders criticized the government’s inability to prevent the attack in Pulwama and accused the government of trying to reap political gains out of the air strikes in Pakistan’s Balakot. According to the government, the air strikes demolished terror camps and infrastructure and killed an unaccounted number of terrorists.

The BJP’s counter offensive on the chowkidar front came months after Congress president Rahul Gandhi coined the phrase “chowkidar chor hai” to hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allegations of wrongdoing in the Rafale deal.

Modi, during his election rallies in 2014, told people to see him as a chowkidar who would ensure no corruption happened on his watch, and not a Prime Minister.

“You must have seen that everywhere people are talking about you. Many countries have now understood the meaning of chowkidar,” Modi told the listeners and asked them to continue to be chowkidars against terror, corruption and filth.