NDA allies Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan today threw their weight behind the government and called for retaliatory measures over the suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, which led to the deaths of more than 40 CRPF personnel. The country is seething over the terror attack on Pulwama and the government should give a befitting reply, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was told by the allies, who had been at odds with the BJP lately over several things, including seat sharing for the coming national elections and the growing demand for the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Though the Prime Minister was in Bihar to launch several developmental projects, it was Thursday’s terror strike that took precedence.
“After the killing of jawans, the entire nation is angry… please don’t forgive them,” said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was sharing stage with PM Modi in Bihar’s Barauni, 110 km from state capital Patna. “The entire country is thinking the targeting of the jawans was an act of cowardice,” he added.
Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan said, “We will take revenge for each and every drop of blood shed in Pulwama”. Since the government has majority in parliament, it could take any action, the Union Minister pointed out.
In his address, PM Modi said he shared the nation’s outrage.
Paying tribute to the two jawans from the state who died in the attack — Sanjay Kumar Sinha and Ratan Kumar Thakur — the Prime Minister said, “To the people who have gathered here, I would like to say the fire that is raging in your bosoms, is in my heart too.”
The call for retaliation has come from several quarters since Thursday’s attack and in many parts of the country, Kashmiris have been targeted.
At a rally in Assam, BJP chief Amit Shah today said, “The sacrifice of the soldiers of CRPF won’t go in vain. This time the central government is not Congress”.
“It is Modi’s government, which will not compromise on issue of national security… the BJP government has given answers for terrorism,” he added. While he did not explain, the reference was seen to be to the surgical strikes in 2016, just 11 days after the attack on a CRPF camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri.
The government has already started piling pressure on Pakistan in terms of trade, withdrawing the “Most Favoured Nation” status and levying 200 per cent customs duty on goods imported from there.
Diplomatic pressure has also started, with New Delhi asking the international community to support naming Jaish chief Masood Azhar as a “UN designated terrorist”. Over 40 nations have condemned the attack.