Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday urged people to vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, rather than a candidate from a particular seat, praising the PM’s leadership for the two surgical strikes on terror bases in Pakistan.
Speaking at a meeting of BJP leaders in Vadodara, with retired defence personnel also present, Sitharaman accused the previous Congress-led UPA government of “prohibiting” the Army from giving a befitting reply to Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
“The army was strong even then… but the government did not give them permission… We did one surgical strike in 2016… After Pulwama, we waited for 12 days to see if Pakistan would take any action on its own. It didn’t happen… By that time, we also had intelligence input of Pakistan was preparing something similar… so we carried out a pre-emptive strike…,” she said.
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Sharing the stage with Vadodara Lok Sabha candidate Ranjan Bhatt, the Defence Minister said, “I want to tell everyone present here that while Ranjanben is a good candidate, every vote given to Ranjanben means a vote given to Modi ji… The people have to vote for Modi ji not the candidate. When you choose the lotus, it is your direct vote to elect Modi ji…”
Later, speaking at a public meet in Anand, Sitharaman said “The candidate (Mitesh Patel) is good, we all agree, the candidate has been a good party worker, but we should always remember that after 2014, for the Modi government to come to power again, BJP has to win by a good majority… when a person votes for this good party worker, it assures that Modi wins and the Modi government is formed again.”