Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a mega 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' townhall event at New Delhi's Talkatora stadium on Sunday, with 5000 people including senior Cabinet Ministers in attendance at the venue.
With less than two weeks to go for the crucial Lok Sabha elections, PM Modi answered a range of questions posed to him by people in the crowd, broaching key political topics.
During the course of the interaction, he also spoke about Pakistan on various fronts.
He was asked the following question by a member in the audience:
"Did you ever think for a second, that if there was any mistake in the Balakot operation, what would have happened to your political career?”
In response, the Prime Minister said:
“At the beginning of your question, you said that I did the Balakot strike, No, the Jawans of the country have done it. Our security forces did it. And a salute to them on our behalf. When it comes to decision-making, in this country, you have seen and heard a lot of Prime Ministers. Even in 2014 elections, the PM candidates were all in a queue, today the queue is just longer. If Modi had thought about the whataboutery of his political decisions, he would not be Modi. If I had to make decisions regarding my selfish needs, then there would be no need for me. There are many people who have even ruled for 70 years, but the population of this country is important for me. Don’t worry about anything else.
An outsider like me has earned the majority. Achieving the majority is very important for the country. Any national leader of any country when they shake my hand, they don’t see Modi, they see a democratically elected government which got the most votes. I made this decision because of my forces, I trust them. They will never disappoint me. Now, what is my thinking behind all of this?
Look, terrorism has been in existence for more than 40 years. Who commits this sin? We know. Who is controlling all of this? We know that too. Where are the havens of the terrorists? We know that too. They come and go, they kill and leave. They did the same in Uri. Our soldiers are fighting every day, if they get to know about anyone in any corner, they reach there. You get to know about it in the morning on TV, but till when will this continue?
That's when I decided that the place where they control all this from, the game will be played from there. It will be their ground."
Adding to that, he said,
"I am very ashamed of some intellectuals of our country. Pakistan has now cleared the air space after one and a half months. I think Pakistan thinks that now that Modi is busy with elections, he won’t do anything. My priority is the country, not the elections. Look, Pakistan has a big problem. If they say something about what happened in Balakot, then they will have to accept that a terrorist camp was operational there. You have denied it to the whole country, but we attacked them at such a place that they cannot hide it anymore. Now they are reconstructing the whole area as we are being told. Creating a façade that there is a school there so, the whole world would believe that a terrorist camp never existed there in the first place. But now with the attack, it has been established that terrorist camps were always functional there. How many militants died there? Pakistan always covers that up. Pakistan’s problem is that with such an attack there is a stamp on them that such safe havens for terrorists exist on their ground. And the people who are criticising and abusing me in India are helping Pakistan’s narrative against me.”