BJP president Amit Shah addressing party workers at Umaria, Madhya Pradesh before launching a bike rally on Saturday.(Photo: Twitter/@BJP4India)
BJP president Amit Shah addressing party workers at Umaria, Madhya Pradesh before launching a bike rally on Saturday.(Photo: Twitter/@BJP4India)

Invoking IAF air strike in Pak, Amit Shah sharpens attack at opposition

Amit Shah hit out at opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee alleging they raised doubts over IAF strike on terror camps in Pakistan.
Hindustan Times, Umaria, Madhya Pradesh | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2019 02:08 PM IST

BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday sharpened his attack on the opposition alleging that the Congress, and other parties have raised “doubts” over the strike by the Indian Air Force on terror camps in Pakistan. Shah said while the last four days were “heavy” for Pakistan but opposition parties gave it “a chance to be happy”.

Speaking ahead of the launch of BJP’s bike rally in Madhya Pradesh, Shah said, “The press conference by [Congress president] Rahul Gandhi and his 21 allies gave Pakistan a chance to be happy.” Shah was referring to a meeting of opposition parties in New Delhi on February 27.

Reading out a joint statement after the meeting, Rahul Gandhi had said the 21 opposition parties expressed “deep anguish” over the ruling party’s “blatant politicization” of the sacrifices made by Indian armed forces. The opposition parties, however, extended full support to the IAF in their statement.

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had said that the Congress party was “with the government and the armed forces” in whatever decision it took to meet the security challenges emerging out after Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed on February 14.

At Saturday’s rally, Shah said, “The opposition leaders are raising questions over air strike on terror camps in Pakistan. I want to ask them, you (Congress) remained in power for long. The country is facing terrorism since 1990. Did you ever show courage to hit back at terrorists?”

Shah said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government under Manmohan Singh did not “strike back” at the terrorists after 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008 as it lacked “courage”. More than 160 people had died in terror attack in Mumbai.

“Things have changed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We gave befitting reply to terrorists and their supporters after attack at Uri army camp and also after Pulwama terror attack,” Shah told the BJP party workers.

The BJP president also hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav over their statements on IAF strike and Pulwama attack. “Mamataji seeks to know if air strike was actually carried out. Akhilesh says there should be probe into Pulwama terror attack...There should be a limit to vote bank politics,” said Shah.

On Friday, Banerjee sought to know the damage caused by the IAF strike at the terror camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. She said, “We have the right to know how many people were killed in the air strikes launched by India. Is it 300, or 350? I read in the international media that the bombs landed somewhere else. How many actually perished or, did anyone at all?”

Days after Pulwama attack, Indian Air Force carried out strike at what was believed to be the biggest terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The IAF later said that it succeeded in its mission to destroy the terror infrastructure.

SP chief Akhilesh, a day after Pulwama attack had targeted the government saying, “…intelligence is still uninformed. The public wants to know how infiltrators succeed in carrying out strikes time and again.”

Launching BJP’s bike rally, Shah claimed that while Pakistan has admitted to India’s response to terrorists after Pulwama, the opposition parties were targeting the Modi government for vote bank politics. He said “only Modi government” can give befitting reply to Pakistan.

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