Hitting out at the Congress over its poll promise of reviewing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday said that the grand old party does not have the "audacity" to go against the armed forces.
"The Congress in its manifesto said they will review the AFSPA. I want to tell Rahul Gandhi that your party does not have the audacity to go against our armed forces. BJP is standing tall with our soldiers," the BJP president said at Uttarkashi.
In reference to the Balakot air strike, Mr Shah said that the BJP government gave a "befitting reply" to the terrorists while claiming that the Congress could not do so in the last 10 years of their tenure.
"During the Modi government, air strikes were conducted where the terrorists sleeping at their training camps were killed. We gave a befitting reply to the terrorists. After this, there was a wave of happiness across the country. Victory processions were carried out everywhere...," he said.
"...but, Rahul Gandhi and his party became sad. His face and Pakistan Prime Minister's (Imran Khan) face were almost the same (after the attack). Can the Congress protect our nation?" he asked while continuing his attack against Congress over national security.
Mr Shah claimed the country was safe under the leadership of the Modi government. He accused the Congress of adopting a soft approach on terrorists and did not give full freedom to the armed forces to retaliate when terror attacks took place in the country during its regime.
Lashing out at National Conference leader Omar Abdullah over his pitch for a separate President and Prime Minister for Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Shah said, "Omar Abdullah recently said that there should be a separate Prime Minister for Jammu and Kashmir, but the Congress is silent on this."
Challenging the Congress president to come clear on the issue, Mr Shah asked him if he will back such statements.
Raking up the Congress party's slogan ''Garibi Hatao'' (eliminate poverty), the BJP president took a jibe at the Gandhi family and claimed that poverty did not reduce in the past so many years but a lot was done in this regard by the Modi government in just five years.
Continuing his attack against the Congress, the BJP chief said, "In Uttarakhand, there used to be talks on scams. But, now people are talking about development. Modi government has taken strict action against those in the NH74 scam."
Highlighting the development works done by the BJP, he said that an all-weather road connecting the Badrinath and Kedarnath temples was under construction that will give a boost to tourism.
"To connect the Chaar Dham by rail, the project has been approved by the Modi government and work has commenced. Under the Bharatmala project, 570 km of roadways are being constructed at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore," he added.
Uttarakhand, which has five Lok Sabha seats at stake, is scheduled to go to polling on April 11, which is the first phase of the General elections. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
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