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In 'Record-breaking' Address to BJP Cadre, Modi Says Will Fight as One; Oppn Slams 'Misplaced Priorities'

This was the Prime Minister's first public address after the government confirmed that an IAF pilot — Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman — was being held in captivity by Pakistan.

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Updated:March 2, 2019, 12:17 PM IST
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In 'Record-breaking' Address to BJP Cadre, Modi Says Will Fight as One; Oppn Slams 'Misplaced Priorities'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 'Mera Booth, Sabse Mazboot' event.
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New Delhi: In his address to BJP party workers for a programme titled 'Mera Booth, Sabse Mazboot', Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country stands behind its soldiers.

This was the Prime Minister's first public address after the government confirmed that an IAF pilot — Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman — was being held in captivity by Pakistan. Apart from the capture, six airmen died in a helicopter crash in Budgam in Kashmir on Wednesday.

Modi also told his party workers, "Elections are upon us," adding, "However prepared a student may be for exams, he must not be lax."

The BJP has claimed that through his address, Modi interacted with over one crore Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and volunteers from 15,000 locations across the country. The BJP said party chief Amit Shah and other leaders are participating in the programme from its Delhi office.

"We are confident of our forces' capability...We should ensure that we do nothing that affects the morale of our forces... Our enemies should not get a chance to point fingers at us," Modi said.

"One of the reasons behind terrorist attacks is to stop development in the country. In the current scenario, every citizen needs to be as alert as an Indian soldier. India will live as one, will work as one, will grow as one, will fight as one and will win as one," Modi added.

In the context of upcoming elections, Modi also told his party workers that every worker should ensure that many people download 'NAMO App', influence as many young voters as possible and distribute as much BJP campaign material as possible.

The Prime Minister has been castigated by several opposition leaders, including SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati, for his address.

Yadav has issued a couple of tweets, saying: “It‘s been nearly 24 hrs since our pilot has gone missing. On the other hand 6 IAF braves lost their lives in a helicopter crash. The nation is praying. We‘re all waiting with baited breath but not a word from our leadership. The silence is deafening."

He also added, "Even when our pilot is missing, everything — even national security — is seen through the lens of public relations and votes. The BJP only knows the politics of distraction, lies, branding and marketing. Those who worship power will only be consumed by it."

Mayawti through her Twitter handle an hour ago also put out a similar statement, "At a time when India is facing hostility of war and country needs firm leadership, PM Nrendra Modi instead of concentrating on the matters of national security trying to serve political interest by addressing his BJP workers is ridiculous besides betrayal of national sentiments."

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, reacting to the PM’s address, said: “Glaring case of misplaced priorities! 132 Cr Indians pray for safe & immediate return of India’s brave-heart Wing Comm, Abhinandan but Modiji desperate only for re-election. Congress cancelled its imp CWC & Rally today. Pradhan Sevak hell-bent on creating a Video Conf. record!”

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