New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday made a controversial statement saying that the opposition leaders who demand proof of the Balakot air strike would have been strapped to rockets to enable them to witness it themselves. Fadnavis said, “If we had known that the ‘mahakhichadi‘ would demand such proof, we would have strapped their leaders to the rockets sent to Balakot, to see it with their own eyes.”

Addressing a public rally in Maharashtra’s Virar, Fadnavis in a veiled attack on grand alliance, said, “What can one say about the mahakhichadi? Instead of acknowledging the role of the armed forces which gave a befitting reply to the (Pulwama) terror attack, they are questioning them. It is unfortunate.”

Fadnavis also praised the Modi-led government for taking appropriate actions unlike the previous UPA government. “We have joined nations like the USA and Israel who take action against anyone trying to hurt them. Why do you think Abhinandan was returned so soon? Because of Modi’s stance and the valour of our armed forces, China and USA advised Pakistan to return our man. Unlike the previous government which talked too much but did nothing, Modi has taken action. India now doesn’t bear it timidly. It takes action, strikes back,” the Maharashtra CM noted.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also slammed the opposition for seeking proof of Balakot strike. Modi said the ‘saboot gang’ has let down the country. While the Congress accused the Narendra Modi-led Centre of politicising the issue for electoral gains, the BJP, on the other hand, claimed that the statements by the Opposition leaders brought a smile to Pakistan’s face.

Ever since the Balakot air strike, tensions between India and Pakistan escalated. Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations the next day. However, the IAF thwarted their plans.

(With agency inputs)