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PM Modi Would Not Have Talked About Space Had He Worked on Land, Says Kamal Nath

The Madhya Pradesh chief minister also questioned the government’s version of events that unfolded during the February 28 cross-border air strikes.


Updated:March 29, 2019, 11:36 PM IST
PM Modi Would Not Have Talked About Space Had He Worked on Land, Says Kamal Nath
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. (Photo: News18)

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the leader would not have been required to talk about space had he worked on land. Nath was speaking at the Rising Madhya Pradesh Summit here.

Modi on Wednesday announced that India had become only the fourth country, after the United States, Russia and China to have used an anti-satellite weapons (A-SAT) programme. After conducting the missile test, the BJP government had questioned how the country’s security could be handed over to a weak party, referring to the opposition Congress.

Responding to the ruling party’s allegations, a smiling Nath said had they been working on ground, they would not have been talking about space.

Lambasting Modi for saying he had provided a safe country during his years in office, Nath claimed that the highest number of terror attacks had taken place during this government’s tenure. Nath said the BJP was in power even when the 2001 Parliament attack took place.

“Was it PM Modi who built institutions including the Army, Air Force, Navy, NDA, Sainik Schools and others?” he asked. Nath inquired if Modi thought the public were foolish enough to believe that the country has been safe under him.

Reminded about the air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force in Balakot, Nath questioned the government’s version of events that said 300 terrorists were killed. The government is yet to reveal the details of a single person killed in the strikes and showcase pictures of demolished buildings, Nath said.

Even Air Force chief BS Dhanoa had said the forces’ had no details of the number of casualties and had only targeted the sites as per the government’s instructions, said Nath. “They said they did their mission and with this, Modiji’s task was also completed,” he added.

Asked if he was suggesting that the IAF was working on the prime minister’s behalf, Nath said he wanted to specify that the air force simply completed the assigned task and did not bother to find out what they were targeting.

Nath said that the Centre could still clear the air on the strikes since international agencies have reported on the events at Balakot. “They can still do that by making public details of what damage the air strike had done,” he said.

In their election campaign, BJP leaders have frequently suggested that voting for the Congress would be akin to strengthening Pakistan. Responding to these claims, Nath said the BJP had no other strategy since it had failed to fulfil its earlier promises. “They can’t say they cheated, lied and had offered jumlas,” he said.

Criticising Modi’s “Main Bhi Chowkidar” slogan and campaign, Nath inquired if the prime minister was guarding the interests of farmers, youth and women, or if he was merely guarding toilets. “The whole world is watching us and the PM says he was a chowkidar,” he said.

Nath appeared confident of a victory in the Lok Sabha elections and said it seemed doubtful that the BJP would increase its tally states such as West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. Nath also declined to pass on suggestions to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, who is currently on the campaign trail in UP.

The Congress, after coming to power in Madhya Pradesh in December, kept its promise of waiving off farm loans. Months before winning the elections, Nath said he had sketched out a detailed plan on how the waiver would be effected.

Nath seemed unruffled by the Congress’s move to field senior leader Digvijaya Singh, instead of him, from Bhopal. He dismissed speculation that this was a ploy to sideline him. Digvijaya Singh would win irrespective of who challenges him, said Nath, adding that the BJP was unnerved about its choice of candidate from Bhopal.

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