He was addressing a party rally here after inaugurating three major hydel projects.
Mr. Modi likened the surgical strikes to Israel’s exploits and said the Indian forces had shown they were no less than anybody.
Israel is known for its targeted military strikes against enemy countries and militant outfits.
“It is a proud moment not only for the Army but also for all ex-servicemen and countrymen and my hundred salutes to the Army for their valour and courage,” the Prime Minister said.
Criticising the previous governments at the Centre for not implementing the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme for ex-servicemen, Mr. Modi pointed out how the National Democratic Alliance government had kept its promise on OROP. “When the NDA came to power we realised that a huge amount of Rs. 10,000 crore is required for the OROP disbursement.
“Appreciating our commitment and on our request, the ex-servicemen have agreed for us to pay the amount in four simple instalments. We have already released Rs. 5,500 crore to them,” the Prime Minister said.
He lauded the valour of Himachal soldiers and their large presence in the armed forces despite being a small State.
Mr. Modi said if his constituency was Kashi, his second home was Chotti Kashi (the Mandi town is called Chotti Kashi because of a large presence of temples). He recalled that before becoming the Gujarat Chief Minister he was the party in charge of Himachal for a long time and was instrumental in installing the first Dhumal government in 1998.
He said he was also present, as an organisation activist, when the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapyee had laid the foundation stones of the hydel projects he inaugurated on Tuesday. (Kol Dam-800 MW, Parbati-540 MW, and Rampur-412 MW). The Kol Dam project MoU was signed with Russia in 1962 but was initiated only by the previous NDA government.
The Prime Minister said BJP Chief Ministers Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal had done a lot for Himachal and credited them for their role in providing drinking water and initiating the road networking in the State. The current Congress Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, he alleged, had his hands full in tackling the corruption cases against him.
The Prime Minister said Himachal was given Rs. 72,000 crore by the 15th Finance Commission against the paltry Rs. 21,000 crore by the UPA in the 14th Finance Commission.