Kanyakumari: Here to inaugurate many development projects on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi struck a chord with the gathering when he said how every Indian was proud that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the IAF pilot who was in Pakistan custody, was from Tamil Nadu.

He also mentioned that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the first woman to hold the prestigious portfolio in the country, is also from the state.

The PM had earlier laid the foundation stone of a railway line between Rameshwaram-Dhanushkodi. It is this line that found a mention in the PM’s speech when he said, “This line got damaged after the disaster of 1964 but for over fifty years, no attention was paid to this line,” subtly attacking the previous UPA Government.

Apart from laying the foundation stone through video-conferencing, PM Modi also flagged off Madurai-Chennai Tejas Express.

Drawing comparison between the UPA Government and the NDA at the Centre now, the PM said, “26/11 happened, India expected action against terrorists but nothing happened. When Uri and Pulwama happened, you saw what our brave soldiers did. I salute those who are serving the nation.”

Attacking the Opposition for having sought evidence that surgical strikes were indeed carried out, PM Modi said, “A few parties, guided by hatred for Modi, have started hating India. No wonder, while the entire nation supports our armed forces, they suspect the armed forces. The world is supporting India’s fight against terror but a few parties suspect it.”

“These are the same people whose statements are helping Pakistan and harming India. They are the same people whose statements are being happily quoted in Parliament of Pakistan and on the radio of Pakistan. I want to ask them, ‘Do you support our armed forces or suspect them?'”

Just a day ago, the PM had hinted at IAF officer Abhinandan Varthaman’s feat and had said in the national capital that the “pilot project” was over and the main programme was to follow.