‘Use Common Sense’: PM Modi Hits Back at Oppn Over Rafale Remarks
“What I said was if we had Rafale, then none of our fighter jets would have gone down and none of theirs saved.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, 4 March, hit out at the Opposition for questioning his statement that the presence of Rafale fighters would have given greater firepower to the Indian Air Force (IAF) during the 27 February aerial engagement with Pakistan.
Modi said India would not sit quietly in the fight against terrorism and would do everything to cure it from the root, which lies in Pakistan, reported PTI.
"I said if Rafale was acquired in time it would have made a difference (during the 27 February dogfight), but they say Modi is questioning our air force strike," he said, addressing a gathering in Gujarat’s Jamnagar.
“Please use common sense. What I said was if we had Rafale at the time (of aerial dogfight), then none of our fighter jets would have gone down and none of theirs saved.”PM Narendra Modi, as quoted by PTI
Lashing out at purported statements from Opposition party leaders who demanded evidence of the 26 February air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot, Modi said his objective was to end terror while that of the Opposition was to remove him.
“The root of terrorism disease is in the neighbouring country, should we not cure the disease from its root,” he asked.
"Even if mentors of those seeking to destroy India are outside, this country won't sit quietly," he said, addressing a gathering after inaugurating an annexe building of Guru Govind Singh hospital and various other development works in Jamnagar.
‘PM Modi Should Apologise to the Air Force’
Addressing a press conference later on Monday, Congress leader RPN Singh asked PM Modi to apologise to the air force for questioning its capabilities.
“PM Modi says IAF would’ve worker better with Rafale aircraft, whereas Air Chief Marshal clearly said that MiG-21s were capable aircraft and had no limitation. Modi should apologise to the air force and its pilots for questioning their capabilities.”Congress leader RPN Singh
“If anyone has shamed our air force, then it is the prime minister himself,” he further asserted.
The Congress leader further brought up the controversy over the casualties inflicted in the air strike on Balakot, asking why the PM or the government has not revealed the figures.
“BJP President Amit Shah claimed that 250 were killed in airstrikes. Some said 300, while some others said 350. Where are these figures coming from? Air Chief Marshal clearly said that it is the government’s duty to count casualties… Why is the government or the PM not revealing the truth behind BJP’s figures of 250, 300 or 350?”Congress leader RPN Singh
‘Have You No Shame?’: Rahul, Mayawati Slam Modi For Rafale Remarks
Earlier, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had attacked PM Modi over his comments on the Rafale aircraft, saying that Modi himself was responsible for the delay in the arrival of the jets to India and he is the reason brave IAF pilots like Wing Commander Abhinandan are risking their lives.
BSP Chief Mayawati also slammed the Modi government over Rafale, and asked why even a single Rafale fighter was not inducted in the IAF during its rule.
PM Modi, while delivering the keynote address at the 18th edition of the India Today Conclave on 2 March, had said that the entire country is feeling the absence of Rafale fighter jet aircraft and wondered what could have happened if the IAF had the fighter planes.
“The country is feeling the absence of Rafale. The entire country is saying in one voice today what all could have happened if we had Rafale. The country has suffered a lot due to selfish interests earlier and now politics over Rafale,” Modi said.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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