With merely days until the country undertakes the largest exercise in democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an exclusive interview to Republic Media Network, addressed the brimming issues, elaborating on Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's capture and the subsequent domestic politics over it.
In conversation with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, PM Modi censured the Opposition for failing to unite after Pakistan captured Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
He said, "They did not have respect for our brave martyrs. And there are some people who worship them (Congress), people who survive on their (Congress) bread - they find statesmanship in Pakistan Prime Minister's statement. And they want to doubt their own Prime Minister. People of India must identify such people. And this is very unfortunate. You would know, when Abhinandan's incident happened, all Indian political parties should have united and said that we are proud of Indian forces that an F-16 was shot down. Instead, they went on saying 'when will Abhinandan return? When will Abhinandan return?' within 2 hours."
"Abhinandan's return talks...Ok, he was caught. The government will do what it has to do at a diplomatic level. But they (Opposition) had planned a candlelight march for Abhinandan, Pulwama, and Airstrike," he added.
Moreover, he accused the Opposition of politicising the grave issue:.
He said, "Of course, there was planning. They were going to hold a candle light march for Abhinandan. But around 3 to 4 pm, Pakistan Prime Minister announced in the Parliament. And their politics was held up. They have tried to do politics at every moment on such a grave issue, such language doesn't suit them."
Wing Commander Abhinandan was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after an aerial confrontation between the air forces of the two countries, a day after New Delhi had conducted counter-terror operations in Pakistan's Balakot.