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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, on April 14, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Nothing wrong in invoking sacrifices of soldiers in polls: PM Modi

NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday defended invoking martyrs in his poll campaigns, saying there was nothing wrong in highlighting the sacrifices made by security personnel, adding some parties have made the deaths of farmers a political issue.

“Thousands of soldiers have died in the past 40 years due to terrorism. Is it not an issue as to what should be done for them? If farmers die, it is an issue, then why not soldiers who die defending the country?” he said in an interview to DD News.

“We want to strengthen our forces. We have been fighting terrorism for the past 40 years. If we do not take this to public, what is the logic?”

Opposition parties have lodged complaints to the Election Commission over “politicisation” of the death of 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama and subsequent retaliatory airstrike in Balakot in Pakistan.

Modi said the country cannot be run without nationalism. “Can any country run without nationalism? If we want to bring Olympic medals, the chances increase if the youth is filled with nationalism,” he said.

The Prime Minister said a section of “hyper-secular” people in the country were targeting his government.

Nothing had happened since Nehru’s time to resolve Jammu & Kashmir conflict, he said.

“We toed one line for 70 years. There has been no outcome. We prepared roadmaps in regards to Articles 370 and 35 A (of Constitution). Should not we take people into confidence and inform them about it?” he said.

Over the charges of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti that “Kashmir will be separated”, Modi said “They have always used such language. They have resorted to emotional blackmailing and emotional exploitation”.

Calling them outdated, Modi said panchayat elections in the state saw 70-75 per cent polling despite a boycott call by these leaders.

Modi also took a dig at Congress President Rahul Gandhi for raising Rafale fighter jet deal issue even when there were “no proof showing any irregularities” in it.

“He raised wrong issues about Rafale to wash away his father’s sins in Bofors case by attributing it to nationalism,” said Modi.

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