Jalandhar (Punjab): While slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for politicising the Balakot air strike, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that the Indian Air Force officer Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman “displayed valour just like every soldier does”. He said that 4-5 jawans and officers die in Jammu and Kashmir every day but nobody talks about them.
“An Air Force officer displayed valour, just like every jawan does. It is their duty. What did you do that you mention him every day? You ask for votes in the name of Balakot, I do not understand what Modi intends to say. Does he mean that Army, Air Force and Navy are his?” said Singh addressing a public rally on Monday. “They are of this country, they protect the country. I was also in the Army. Does anyone talk about incidents where 4-5 jawans and officers die every day in Jammu and Kashmir? Does anyone talk when BSF jawans die? No. Just because it appeared on TV, they keep talking about this,” he said.
At an election rally in Rajasthan’s Udaipur on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at the Congress party and its allies, saying that they asked for the proof of Balakot air strike, which let down the country. “The Congress party and its ‘Mahamilavati’ allies are asking for proof for the bravery of soldiers. Whom would you believe? Will you rely on your ‘saput’ or trust the person who asks for proof,” said the PM.
While addressing a rally on April 9 at Ausa near Latur, Maharashtra, the Prime Minister urged first time voters to dedicate their votes to the Air Force which carried out air strikes at Balakot. The Indian Air Force has recommended Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman for the wartime gallantry medal Vir Chakra for shooting down an F-16 in aerial conflict with Pakistan.
The Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award in the military during the times of war after the Param Vir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra. Wg Cdr Abhinandan has the unique distinction of being the only pilot in the world to have shot down an F-16 combat aircraft from his vintage MiG-21 Bison aircraft on February 27 during aerial conflict with Pakistan. Earlier this week, the officer underwent medical tests at a Delhi-based facility for becoming eligible to fly the MiG-21s again.