New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a strong message to Pakistan on the 12th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack Thursday, calling it the biggest such strike ever on India, and adding that the country can never forget the wounds inflicted by terrorists from Pakistan.
The 2008 attack had claimed the lives of 165 people and injured about 300.
Modi made these remarks in a virtual address to the concluding session of the All India Presiding Officers’ Conference in Kevadia, Gujarat.
“On this day in 2008, terrorists from Pakistan attacked Mumbai. Many, including foreign citizens and policemen died. I pay tributes to them. India can’t forget those wounds. Today India is fighting terrorism with new policies. I also bow down to our security personnel fighting terror,” Modi said.
The PM’s address, made to presiding officers of Indian legislative bodies to celebrate Constitution Day, also hailed the robustness of the Indian Constitution despite “attempts made to destroy its spirit” during the Emergency in the 1970s.
“From what should be the role of the three wings of our Constitution to its spirit, everything is enshrined in the Constitution. Though we did witness how attempts were made against the dignity of separation of power in the 1970s… but the answer for that came from the Constitution itself as decorum and separation of power is described in it,” Modi said.
He added that after the Emergency, the system of checks and balances has gone from strength to strength. “All the three wings of the Constitution — the executive, legislature and judiciary — have learnt many things from that dark phase and moved on,” the PM said. “One reason for this is that the people of this country of over 130 crore have full faith in the three wings. To increase this faith, relentless work has also taken place.”
India needs ‘One Nation, One Election’
Modi also reiterated the need for ‘One Nation, One Election’. “Elections are held at different places every few months; the effect it has on development work is known to all. This issue needs to be studied and presiding officers can be a guiding force for it,” the PM said.
He also suggested that there should be a single voters’ list for the Lok Sabha, assembly and panchayat polls. “Separate lists are a waste of resources,” Modi said, adding that the presiding officers should take innovative measures to spread awareness about the Constitution.
The PM also cautioned against the tendency to keep projects pending, and took a swipe at the Congress by giving the example of the Sardar Sarovar project.
“The project was stuck for years and kept the people of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan from the massive benefits which finally accrued when the dam was finally constructed,” he said.