Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Udhampur-Kathua constituency, Friday said people living in the border villages are India’s first line of defence.
Singh will take on the grandson of erstwhile Maharaja Hari Singh, Vikramaditya Singh, and former BJP minister Choudhary Lal Singh in the Udhampur-Kathua parliamentary constituency, where polling will be held on April 18.
Singh, who is the sitting MP here, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ensured decisive retaliatory action against Pakistan, which the people living along the border would testify to.
Addressing a series of public meetings in the border villages close to International Border (IB) in Kathua and Hiranagar sectors, Singh said, “None other than the people living in the border areas are India’s first line of defence against the enemy for 24 hours, 365 days a year.”
Singh said no person other than the borderline villagers could appreciate the concern with which the Modi Government had retaliated.
In contrast to the earlier governments, it was under Modi’s leadership that orders were issued to give a free hand to the defence forces to decide the nature and extent of military action, he said.
“Since there was no political intimidation, the defence forces had been able to perform their best, whether it was in the form of surgical strike (2016) or air strike (2019)”, he said.
Singh said it was strange that the air strike resulted in killing of hundreds of terrorists on the Pakistan side of the border, but the pain was being felt by the leaders of the Congress, the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party.
Singh said during his parliamentary term bunkers and Seema Bhawans were being constructed here.
He said it was also during this period of five years that hundreds of ‘sulabh’ toilets were being built along the International Border.
He said a gross injustice was undone when 3 per cent reservation was provisioned for the youth living along the IB on the same lines as those living along the Line of Control.
On the last day before the Model Code of Conduct was imposed, orders were issued for setting up of eight mobile towers along the IB as it would immensely benefit students and youth who heavily depend on connectivity, he said.