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SOURCE: PTI

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asserted that safeguarding national interests is the main focus of the BJP-led government and anyone casting an evil eye on India is now given a befitting reply.
“India is no longer weak. We believe in peace,” Singh said, adding that a befitting reply is now given if anyone tries to harm us. Our soldiers have proved this time and again, Singh said referring to the 2016 surgical strikes and 2019 Balakot airstrikes.

He also mentioned about the bravery shown by soldiers during the Galwan Valley standoff in eastern Ladakh. Singh was addressing a gathering after unveiling the statue of legendary warrior Prithviraj Chauhan in Haryana’s Jhajjar. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and State BJP chief O P Dhankar were also present.

He said to get rid of the colonial mindset, the Narendra Modi government has taken a number of initiatives, including a new Indian Navy ensign inspired from Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji, abolition of around 1,500 obsolete British-era laws, renaming of Rajpath as Kartavya Path and installation of a grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate.

More than 1,500 archaic laws dating back to the British rule, whose relevance was completely over, have been abolished. There are many such laws for which we are preparing a scheme, he said. We will scrap these too, the minister said. Terming Haryana and the Jhajjar region as the land of the brave, he said many have laid down their lives to safeguard the country’s borders.

Referring to Pakistan, he said, “..And you have seen since India gained independence, Pakistan has been pushing terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir to foment trouble and create de-stability.” He mentioned about the air strikes and surgical strikes post Uri and Pulwama terror attacks, saying a befitting reply was given.

On the G-20 logo issue, Singh asserted lotus is the national flower, connected with India’s cultural identity. “On seeing that lotus flower, some people created a ‘hungama’ (ruckus). They said lotus flower is BJP’s poll symbol. “There is a limit of making accusations. Whereas the truth is that Government of India, in 1950, had declared lotus flower as a national flower. And they did so because a lotus flower is a symbol of our cultural identity,” said Singh.

“In 1857, during the country’s first war of independence, those who were taking part in it they were carrying bread in one hand and lotus flower in the other. Should we forget this lotus flower?. Did prime minister commit a crime (launching lotus as a log for G-20)? Just because it is any party’s election symbol, should we leave it just for that and cancel it’s recognition as a national flower,” asked Singh.