Press Trust of India

War clouds hovering over world, strong BJP govt needed to protect country: PM

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Damoh (MP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said war clouds were hovering over the world and under these circumstances a strong BJP-led government with an absolute majority was needed to protect the country’s interests and tackle any eventuality.

Mocking Pakistan without naming it, he said a neighbouring country that exported terrorism was now struggling for a basic necessity like bread.

“You all are seeing that war clouds are hovering over the world. When there is an atmosphere of war in the world… incidents are taking place. At this moment, Bharat badly needs a strong government that will work on a war footing. Do you agree with me?” he asked the gathering while addressing an election rally at Damoh in Madhya Pradesh.

His comments came in the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel and rising tension in West Asia.

“Bharat needs a government that is capable of protecting it in any situation. And this work can happen only when there is a BJP government in place with an absolute majority,” he emphasised on a day when the the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, being held in seven phases, kicked off with voting in more than 100 seats.

“How a stable and strong government works was clearly evident during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic,” he pointed out.

The PM underscored that crores of people were vaccinated against COVID-19 for free during the pandemic and the poor were supplied free ration.

“Today, the country has a government that neither comes under pressure nor bows before anyone,” asserted the BJP’s star campaigner.

“Our principle is nation first. To ensure that India gets cheap oil, we took a decision in the country’s interest,” he said.

The PM took a dig at neighbouring Pakistan, which is facing rising inflation and a host of other economic challenges, without taking its name.

“The condition of many countries in the world is worrisome. Many countries are getting bankrupt. One of our neighbours that was a supplier of terror (‘aatank’) is now struggling for flour (‘aata’),” said Modi.

The BJP stalwart maintained the ongoing Lok Sabha election is about making India a big global power in the next five years and pitched for a strong government led by the saffron party at the Centre.

“In the last few years, we have seen how a stable government works. We gave crores of Indians free food and (coronavirus) vaccines,” he said.

Modi accused the Congress of weakening the defence sector for decades when it was in power.

“They did not want (French-made) Rafale fighter jets to come to India. They wanted to see that the Indian Air Force remains in trouble. They employed all their might to see that our Air Force was not empowered,” he alleged, hitting out at the main opposition party.

He emphasised that under the BJP-led government defence forces were becoming self-reliant.

“They saw their own interest in arms purchases. Had the Congress government continued, the India-made Tejas fighter plane would not have taken to the skies. It is the BJP government that was making our forces self-reliant,” Modi added.

He pointed out that India, which once bought most of its arms from overseas, was now exporting high-tech weapons to other countries, and referred to providing BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines.

“Bharat is acquiring the image of an arms exporter. This year alone, Bharat has sold arms worth Rs 21,000 crore to other countries. Right now when I am delivering my speech (at Damoh), BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles are being sent to the Philippines,” he noted.

Slamming the opposition, Modi said they termed Ram Lalla’s puja as ‘pakhand’ (hypocrisy) on the occasion of Ram Navami when sunbeams were directed on the forehead of the Hindu deity’s idol at the temple in Ayodhya using an elaborate mechanism involving mirrors and lenses.

Modi praised Iqbal Ansari, a former litigant in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, for accepting the invitation to attend the January 22 consecration ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and slammed the opposition for boycotting the event.

The BJP, in its manifesto, has promised that every individual above 70 years of age will be brought within the ambit of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Yojana, ensuring free treatment to them up to Rs 5 lakh, Modi maintained.

The PM asserted his government was committed to the welfare of the poor and pointed out that the Centre has extended the free ration scheme for five more years for nearly 80 crore beneficiaries.

“Modi’s guarantee means guarantee to fulfil guarantees,” he told the gathering.

The BJP has fielded Rahul Lodhi from the Damoh Lok Sabha seat and state party president Vishnu Dutt Sharma from the Khajuraho constituency. Both these seats, along with five others, will vote in the second phase of elections on April 26.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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