Expressing solidarity with ex-servicemen's long-pending demand of 'one rank, one pension', BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi said here on Sunday that the issue would not have suffered delay if former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been voted to power for a second term in 2004.
Modi said this while addressing his maiden rally after being named the BJP's prime ministerial candidate on Friday. He said the crisis in the current regime at the Centre had made the ex-servicemen suffer.
On the recent aggression shown by China and Pakistan, Modi said the country's defence was not weak but it was the decision-makers whose policies had led to chaos.
Slamming defence minister AK Antony's statement after the five jawans were killed
by the Pakistan Army in Poonch, he said, "The problem is not at the border, it is in New Delhi. To solve the problem, we have to look for a solution there."
Speaking on strategic affairs, Modi said Maoism and terrorism are the new challenges for nations, which were not in favour of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Slamming the UPA for its "failure" in tackling the issues, he said the Centre lacked vision and the existing vacuum in their leadership for taking these issues head on was responsible for the present crisis. He said such issues had created a proxy war-like situation and the UPA's policies were damaging the country.
Hails Agni-V missile's second test
The successful second test of Agni-V missile, which can target for 5,000km, is a shot in the arm of the country, said Modi, while congratulating the scientists for their endeavour. While saluting the jawans from Rewari area for their contribution in serving the nation, Modi said that he had got the news about the successful test on his way here.
Modi's Haryana connect
Recalling his connect with Haryana, Modi said he had got the opportunity to work with former deputy prime minister Devi Lal and former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal, when he was the party-in-charge of Haryana affairs in 1995. "I got the chance to work in Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and closely understand the problems here," he said, adding that he had got love from Haryana as people here knew that he came from the land of Dayanand Saraswati.
'Hooda owes a lot to Gujarat'
Modi said Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda owed a lot to Gujarat as he had spent some time in Jamnagar as a student of Sainik School.