New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a scathing attack on Opposition for ‘misquoting’ his statement that the presence of Rafale fighters would have given greater firepower to the IAF during the February 26 aerial engagement with Pakistan. The Prime Minister, while addressing a public gathering in Jamnagar district of his hometown Gujarat also claimed that the Opposition parties are uniting just to destroy him politically.

Reiterating that the results of the IAF strike could have been different, if the Indian Air Force had the Rafale fighter jets, PM Modi asserted,”I said if Rafale was acquired in time it would have made a difference (during the February 27 dogfight), but they say Modi is questioning our air force strike. Please use common sense. What I said was if we had Rafale at the time (of aerial dogfight), then none of our fighter jets would have gone down and none of theirs saved.”

The Prime Minister also lashed out at the statements from opposition party leaders who demanded proof of IAF air strike that decimated biggest terror hideout of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot. “The root of terrorism disease is in neighbouring country, should we not cure the disease from its root. Even if mentors of those seeking to destroy India are outside, this country won’t sit quietly.”

Earlier on Saturday, while speaking at a media event, Modi had said that the country is feeling the absence of Rafale. “The entire country is saying is saying in one voice today, what all could have happened if we had Rafale. The country has suffered a lot due to selfish interests earlier and now politics over Rafale.”

Soon after PM Modi’s remarks, the opposition parties accused him of underrating bravery and valour of the IAF.

“The prime minister has himself questioned the air strike. He said had the Rafale jets been there (with the IAF), the results would have been different. What is the meaning of this?” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari posed during a press conference.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had accused the prime minister of being “solely responsible” for the delay in the arrival of Rafale jets. “Dear PM, Have you no shame at all? YOU stole 30,000 Crore and gave it to your friend Anil. You are solely responsible for the delay in the arrival of the RAFALE jets. YOU are WHY brave IAF pilots like Wing Cdr. Abhinandan, are risking their lives flying outdated jets (sic),” Gandhi had said on Twitter.