PM Modi said that, instead of backing the Centre’s efforts, “the Congress manifesto is soft on terror” and their “views on the Army are similar to those of Pakistan.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 8 targeted the Indian National Congress’ manifesto over its proposal of reviewing Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that revoking the Act would be equivalent to sending soldiers to the gallows.
In an exclusive interview with News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, PM Modi said AFSPA was necessary in J&K to protect the armed forces there and to keep up their morale.
PM Modi said: “The government must have the power to protect its armed forces. Only then will they have the morale to fight. Revoking AFSPA would be like sending our soldiers to the gallows. I will never let this happen.”
The prime minister said that instead of backing the Centre’s efforts, “the Congress manifesto is soft on terror” and their “views on the Army are similar to those of Pakistan.”
“No patriot will tolerate this language,” he added.
He said the government must first create an environment where AFSPA is unnecessary before revoking or diluting it. He also cited the example of Arunachal Pradesh, where the government partially revoked the Act earlier this month.
“First, we revoked it from a few districts in Arunachal. We then revoked it from a few other states. We were the first government to take such a step since 1980. But we have maintained law and order,” Modi said.
The Congress, in its manifesto released on April 2, proposed to review AFSPA in J&K, and revoke and amend several other laws like sedition and defamation. BJP leaders had criticised this. However, the Congress clarified it only intended to modify AFSPA in instances of human rights violations in the state.(The full interview will be aired today at 7.00 pm and 10.00 pm on CNN-News18, News18 India, CNBC TV18 and other News18 regional channels.)