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PM Modi in Odisha: 'Pakistan still counting bodies, and opposition ask for proof'

News Agencies | Updated on: 29 March 2019, 13:09 IST

Pakistan is still counting the bodies of terrorists killed in India's air strike in Balakot, but the opposition keeps asking for proof, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today while campaigning in Odisha for next month's national and assembly elections in the state.

"It has been a month, and Pakistan is still busy counting bodies (of terrorists) killed, and these people here only keep asking for proof," PM Modi said at a rally in Koraput, hitting out at the opposition over their questions surrounding the Indian Air Force strike on February 26 targeting a terror training camp in Pakistan's Balakot.

"When India acts against terrorists, goes into the enemy's home and strikes them, these people demand proof."

The Prime Minister also raised the opposition criticism over his nationally televised announcement of "Mission Shakti", or India's successful test-fire of an anti-satellite ASAT missile.

"Two days ago Odisha, along with the rest of India witnessed something great. India has now become a space power and that is something that the world has now noticed. India is now even doing chowkidari even in space.

But while the world takes notice, and we all are proud of our scientists, there are those handful of people who are just always blaming, questioning, criticizing, insulting such achievements," he said.

"By doing this they only insult our scientists and our soldiers. Tell me, do you want such people who insult our forces and our scientists, should they not be punished," asked the Prime Minister, repeatedly asking his audience whether they wanted a weak government or a strong, decisive one.

"Do you want a mazboot (strong) government, or a majboor (helpless) government?" There was a chorus - "Mazboot".

The Prime Minister, on a whirlwind campaign schedule across India, began his speech by urging people to raise their fists and say "Bharat Mata Ki Jai".

He went on to establish another new routine, provoked by Congress president Rahul Gandhi's "Chowkidar Chor Hai (the Chowkidar is a thief)" attacks. "Main Bhi?" he asked the crowd. "Chowkidar," came the chorus.

PM Modi launched the "Main Bhi Chowkidar" campaign last week as a counter to Rahul Gandhi's relentless offensive on the Rafale jet deal. Like him, every BJP leader prefixed their Twitter account with "Chowkidar".

Odisha will vote for assembly polls along with the seven-phase general election from April 11.

In the 2014 elections, the BJP won just one parliamentary seat of 21 in Odisha and 10 of the 147 assembly seats.


First published: 29 March 2019, 12:36 IST