Speaking on 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, BJP president JP Nadda said UPA govt lacked 'political will' to deal with India's security challenges

New Delhi: On the 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, BJP president J P Nadda on Sunday took aim at the Congress, saying “scandals” marred the UPA government that lacked “political will” in dealing with India’s security challenges, whereas the defence sector has always been the focus of the Narendra Modi dispensation.

Addressing an event attended by veterans, Nadda hailed the armed forces, saying they combined inspiration and strategy with valour to vanquish Pakistan during the Kargil war despite facing adverse circumstances.

He said India will forever remember the sacrifices made by its soldiers to secure the country’s borders.

Nadda also stressed the BJP’s commitment to the welfare of armed forces, saying the defence sector has always received Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special focus.

The Modi government implemented ‘one rank, one pension’ scheme and cleared all dues with payment of Rs 33,000 crore, he said, adding that 72 border projects are now near completion while work on them was not done during the UPA government.

“Scandals after scandals happened but (defence) purchase was not made. It lacked political will and acumen,” the BJP president said of the UPA government, which was in power during 2004-14.

As many as 36 Rafale fighter aircraft, 28 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters have been acquired under the Modi government, he said.

During the 2008-14 period, 3,610 km of road in border regions was constructed, whereas 4,764 km of road was built during 2014-20, he said.

Nadda also noted Modi’s visit to Ladakh recently during the standoff with China and said that the prime minister spends every Diwali with the armed forces.

Modi has maintained the policy of “zero tolerance” to any intrusion, he said.

Hailing the armed forces, he said Pakistan was in an “advantageous” position during the Kargil war after occupying mountain heights but Indian soldiers drew inspiration from the challenge and fought with valour and strategy to attain victory.

“It was the toughest battle on highest mountains,” he said, asserting that India will remain indebted to the brave soldiers forever.

During the Kargil war, Nadda said, the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee fought with Pakistan in the international arena as well and resisted any pressure. Vajpayee made it clear that India will not declare ceasefire until it secures its border by defeating Pakistan, he said.