PATNA: The nation’s collective outrage and sadness over the loss of 40 CRPF personnel in the Pulwama terrorist attack found expression in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at a government ceremony in Bihar on Sunday.
“I do feel how much fire there is in your hearts and the hearts of all our fellow countrymen. The fire raging in your hearts is also the same fire that is raging in my heart,” said Modi in his address to a massive crowd at a ceremony at Barauni in Begusarai district.
The audience, in which many waved tricolours and BJP flags, cheered as the PM said those lines, but he spoke no more on the topic. Modi, who launched and laid foundation stones for infrastructure projects worth Rs 33,000 crore at the programme, paid tributes to the two CRPF personnel from Bihar who were among the 40 men in uniform who sacrificed their lives in Pulwama.
The PM started his 25-minute speech by greeting the audience in the north Bihar town in the local Angika dialect, saying “Sab log ka pranam karechhia”. He then prompted the audience to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ with gusto three times. He also ended his speech by asking the audience to chant that patriotic phrase three more times.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi also expressed their anguish at the violent death of the 40 CRPF personnel.
“Everyone in the country believes that whoever enacted such a cowardly act of violence would be taught a lesson. I have full faith that the entire country would stand united under the leadership of honourable Narendra Modi and give a befitting reply to those people,” said Nitish Kumar in his address. “An all-party meeting has been held and the honourable prime minister has said that the perpetrators of the attack would not be forgiven,” added Kumar.
Notable among others present at the programme included Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon, Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan, Ravi Prasad, Giriraj Singh, Rajkumar Singh, Ram Kripal Yadav and Ashwini Choubey, and Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai, apart from several state ministers and MPs