- PM was addressing a rally in Kolkata's historic Brigade Parade Ground
- He accused Congress and Trinamool of questioning the armed forces
- The Congress, PM Modi said, wants the army's security cover removed
On the home turf of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today tarred both her and the Congress with the same brush, accusing them of questioning the armed forces and not caring about national security.
"Who is asking for proof of air strikes? Who was casting aspersions on air strikes and disappointing the army? 'Show us the bodies of terrorists' - who asked this?" the Prime Minister said at a rally in Kolkata's historic Brigade Parade Ground.
Since the terror strike at Pulwama and the subsequent air strikes on the Jaish-e Mohammad terror camp at Pakistan's Balakot, the BJP has been targeting opposition parties, especially the Congress, over the issue of national security.
The provocation came as days after the air strikes, more than 20 opposition parties met and signed a memorandum, accusing the government of trying to take credit for the achievements of the Air Force. The Bengal Chief Minister was among those who asked pointed questions regarding the strikes in terms of casualty.
Calling Congress Trinamool's "elder" party, the Prime Minister accused it of "toying" with the country's security.
Since yesterday, the Congress has been facing BJP attacks over its promise to amend the controversial AFSPA (Armed Forces' Special Powers Act).
The Congress, PM Modi said, wants the army's security cover removed. "The law protecting them will be repealed. The Congress is promising something that would help terrorists in Pakistan," he said.
The Congress manifesto, PM Modi said, comes with an expiry date: May 23, the day the results of the national elections are expected.
From a rally in Cooch Behar, Mamata Banerjee issued a scathing reply.
"We are nationalists, not fascists," said the Chief Minister, who, sources indicated, had tweaked her schedule to have the last word today.
"I am not Modi, I don't tell lies," said Mr Banerjee, claiming the Prime Minister has made false claims on the performance of her government in Bengal.