A DAY after he attacked the Opposition for seeking proof of “surgical strikes”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked here Saturday whether they would now ask for evidence of missile launches by Indian scientists. Congratulating Indian scientists for successful test-firing of Interceptor missiles on Saturday, Modi said, “We can now intercept an enemy missile 150 km in the sky and destroy it… I do not know what statements the Congress and opposition parties will give. Wo kahenge, Modi saboot lao. 150 mile upar gaye kab the? Missile par waar kab kiya tha, jara batao (They will say, get proof. When did you go 150 miles up? When did you conduct a strike with a missile)?”
Referring to reports that Pakistan had developed missiles that could target Andaman and Nicobar, he said, “Indians also have no shortage of missiles, but India has accomplished a great feat of valour today. This feat was so far achieved only by four-five major countries of the world.”
Again talking about surgical strikes, the PM added, “Entire world is discussing that the Indian Army has this power… but Indian politics has stooped so low that they are asking for proof of surgical strikes.” With businessmen the worst hit due to demonetisation, Modi sought to assuage them, saying it were the “bureaucrats and politicians” who were the most to blame for corruption. It was an illusion, he said, that businessmen are into black money, as “a businessman, when he gets an opportunity, might sell a product of Rs 20 for Rs 25… Sometimes when he has to give Rs 100 to the government, he would give Rs 80.”
But, Modi added, “They have not caused that much damage to the country. If bureaucrats do not trouble them, and they are not required to pay bribes, then the businessmen of this country, the middle-class people, do not want to steal a rupee.”
He repeated that demonetisation was meant to help the poor. “We have created a law for benami property. Does any farmer, teacher, solider have benami property? Babus and politicians have benami property. I have made such a law that, firstly, would ensure jail term of at least seven years.” “In just one night”, he said, this entire property “would become the property of the government and be used for the poor.”
Intensifying his attack on Chief Minister Harish Rawat, Modi took a dig at a recent video where Rawat was portrayed as the hero from the super-hit Bahubali, thrashing top BJP leaders including Modi. “The word bahubali has always been criticised in our country,” Modi said, noting that it was used for musclemen in politics. “But politics has seen such a fall that in this Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand, such politicians have taken birth who are not ashamed of calling themselves bahubali.”
Modi has addressed rallies in Haridwar and Rudrapur— the two seats Rawat is contesting from are in these two districts.