New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a scathing attack on the Congress and erstwhile UPA government over the delay in the construction of a war memorial and the Rafale fighter jet deal.

In an address to a group of ex-servicemen ahead of the inauguration of the National War Memorial, Modi said the previous dispensation put “the family first” while for him it was India first.

“The demand for a National War Memorial has been there for many decades, in the last decade there were one or two attempts but nothing concrete could happen, with the help of your blessing we started the process in 2014,” said PM Modi.

Slamming the Congress over the delay in making a war memorial, PM Modi said: “Every soldier, every citizen of this country is asking today why the earlier governments did this injustice to the soldiers. The long delay in building war memorial is due to putting a family first and not India.”

“Earlier there was just the name of one family was associated with almost every project in the country. The difference between India First and Family First is the answer for this,” he added.

Slamming the Congress for questioning the government over the Rafale fighter jet deal, PM Modi said: “From Bofors to Helicopter deal, all the investigations are pointing to one family, it says a lot, now these people are putting all the efforts to make sure that Rafale aircraft don’t arrive in the country.”

“But when the country’s first Rafale flies for the first time in India’s skies in a few months, it will end all their conspiracies,” the Prime Minister said.

The Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi has been alleging wrongdoing and corruption by the Modi government in the fighter jet deal. But the Centre has vehemently refuted the allegations.

The Prime Minister said crucial decisions related to defence procurement and strengthening the armed forces were pending but his government cleared them on priority basis.

Acceding to a long-pending demand of the armed forces, the government in 2015 had approved the project for building a National War Memorial and a National War Museum near India Gate in memory of over 22,500 soldiers who laid down their lives post-Independence.