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‘India first or family?’ PM Modi trains guns at Congress at National War Memorial launch

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National War Memorial in Delhi on Monday and dedicated it to soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2019 20:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of National War Memorial in New Delhi on Monday.(ANI photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dig at the Congress as he inaugurated the National War Memorial in Delhi on Monday and dedicated it to soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

The war memorial is located near the India Gate complex and pays homage to over 26,000 soldiers who have sacrificed their lives since 1947. It was promised by the National Democratic Alliance in its 2014 election manifesto.

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Speaking at a ceremony, Modi said, “We are continuously working towards making the Army self-reliant, the decisions which were thought to be impossible earlier have now been made possible. Due to the sacrifice of many soldiers, we are among the strongest army in the world.”

He also hit out at the Congress, saying that from Bofors to choppers, all the investigations are “pointing to one family”. “Now these people are putting all the efforts to make sure that Rafale aircraft don’t arrive in the country,” he said.

Asking people whether they wanted “India first or family first”, he said the armed forces and national security suffered due to criminal negligence before the BJP came to power.

“Decisions which were pending for decades were cleared on priority to strengthen the armed forces. We had implemented the one rank one pension (OROP) scheme, due to which pensions of veterans were increased up to 40%,” he said.

Watch | PM, defence minister, Army, Navy, Air Force chiefs inaugurate National War Memorial

Drawing inspiration from the ‘Chakravyuh’ formation, the iconic National War Memorial set to be unveiled on Monday boasts of four thematic concentric circles with a tall ceremonial obelisk at its centre that will bear the eternal flame.

The names of 25,942 battle casualties have been inscribed across 16 walls that consist of granite pieces bearing the name, rank and regiment of the fallen heroes, the officials said, adding that it was built between February last year and this February in “record time”.

The layout of the memorial located behind the India Gate canopy and across the National Stadium consists of four concentric circles, radially outwards, namely, the ‘Amar Chakra’ or Circle of Immortality, ‘Veerta Chakra or Circle of Bravery, ‘Tyag Chakra’ or Circle of Sacrifice and ‘Rakshak Chakra’ or Circle of Protection.

The central obelisk is topped with an Ashokan Capital and the base bears the famous couplet ‘Shaheed ki mazron par...’ by poet Jagdamba Prasad Mishra ‘Hitaishi’.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Feb 25, 2019 17:43 IST