Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday again took the opportunity to refer to the surgical strikes in Pakistan and said India’s army, “which everyone is talking about”, is now as good as the vaunted Israeli army.
“Everyone is talking about our Army, we used to hear about similar feats of Israel. But now everyone knows the Indian Army is no less,” the PM said, addressing a rally in Mandi , in the Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh, a state that goes to the polls next year, and one that a lot of the armed forces hail from.
While talking about the Army, the PM also took the opportunity to pat himself on the back for pushing through the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for retired servicemen, whose families, he said, now “bless” him for it.
“One Rank One Pension was hanging for 40 years, and it is our government which completed that work. Not only soldiers but their families bless me. We have released Rs 5,500 crore and promise to deliver the remainder soon,” the PM said, in what was his first trip to Himachal since he won the Lok Sabha elections.
The PM recalled that he spoke of OROP in Himachal while campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections. “Today in this ‘veerbhumi’ (brave land), I can say that this right of yours has been given,” he said.
Earlier today, Modi dedicated to the nation three hydro-electric projects (HEPs) in the state, with a generating capacity of 1,732 MW.
All the three power projects – Koldam HEP (4×200 MW) of NTPC, Parbati HEP Stage-III (4×130 MW) of NHPC and Rampur HEP (6×68.67 MW) of SJVN -are equipped with generating equipment supplied and commissioned by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), state-owned BHEL said in a statement today.
“BJP CMs here in Himachal Pradesh devoted themselves to people’s good. Shanta Kumarji is popularly remembered as ‘Paani Wale CM’ and Dhumalji as ‘Grameen Sadak Wale CM’…and the Urja Shakti (hydroelectric) projects inaugurated today can transform Himachal Pradesh, “the PM said later at the rally.
The PM also took a jab at the previous Congress-led UPA government.
“When we assumed office, we saw there were so many projects incomplete. They were decided so long back but not much happened…After coming to power, I had to open a new archaeological department to look for files of several projects missing for ages,” he said.