Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on Tuesday likened the Indian Army's anti-terrorist surgical strikes
to Israel's exploits and said the Indian forces have shown they are no less than anybody.
"Our army's valour is being discussed across the country these days. We used to hear earlier that Israel
has done this. The nation has seen that Indian army
is no less than anybody," he said.
is known for its targeted military strikes against enemy countries and militant outfits.
PM Modi was speaking at a rally in Himachal Pradesh where he inaugurated three hydro-power projects.
The issue of surgical strikes
has snowballed into a political row, with the Opposition accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its government of "milking" it for political benefits. The charge has been rejected by the BJP, which has insisted that it is taking the issue to the masses to boost the army's morale and highlight the strong political will of the prime minister.
Underscoring his commitment to the welfare of the armed forces, PM Modi on Tuesday said his government had fulfilled its promise of 'One-Rank, One-Pension' for ex-servicemen, an issue which he said had been hanging fire for over 40 years.
Previous governments, he said, duped the people by making tall claims and some of them even allocated Rs 200 crore-500 crore in this regard but never did an analysis of cost burden and how it could be executed.
"I did it and was puzzled to find that the economic burden kept rising. It worked to be more than Rs 10,000 crore," he said, adding that it was difficult for any government to make such a big allocation in one go.
PM Modi said he spoke to armed forces and offered to release the money in four instalments to which they agreed.
"Over Rs 5,500 crore in first instalment has been given. The rest will be to. A promise hanging fire for the last 40 years has been fulfilled," he said.
At the 'Parivartan Rally', Modi also targeted Virbhadra Singh, the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, where elections are due late next year, saying that the BJP
chief ministers dedicated themselves to causes like drinking water and roads while the Congress leader was concerned about his own welfare.
"Do I need to explain what the current chief minister is known for?" he said and then added, "When BJP
gave chief ministers, somebody dedicated himself to water, somebody to roads but when others came they dedicated so many things for their personal welfare."
has accused Singh of being involved in corruption but the Congress leader has rejected the charges and claimed that he was a victim of "political vendetta".