Greater Noida: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India hit terrorists in their backyard after the Pulwama terror attack and accused the previous Congress-led UPA government of lacking the courage to take action against Pakistan-based terror groups post the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in 2008.
Addressing a rally here, Modi said what his government did post-Pulwama had not been done in decades.
Modi addressed the rally after laying the foundation stone for two 1,320 megawatt thermal power plants at Khurja in Uttar Pradesh and Buxar in Bihar, and inaugurating the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Institute of Archaeology and the Noida City Centre-Noida Electronic City section of the Delhi Metro's Blue Line.
"We hit the terrorists in their houses. The terrorists and their masters were not expecting this kind of response. The air strikes were carried out at 3.30 a.m and Paksitan lost its sleep. They tweeted at 5 a.m saying that 'Modi has hit us, Modi hit us...'," the Prime Minister said.
Recalling the surgical strike of 2016 in the wake of the Uri terror attack, he said terror masterminds were accustomed to thinking that India would do nothing, but his government had "taught them a lesson".
Targeting the previous UPA government, he alleged that the perception of inaction by India had emerged due to the government that ruled India before 2014.
Modi referred to a series of terror strikes that took place in the country over the years during the UPA regime and said that these were also linked to Pakistan but the "remote-controlled" government showed inaction.
He said there was need for action after the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 that killed 166 people as the world community was with India.
"In the post 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, armed forces were ready to strike back but their hands were tied and they were not allowed for counter attack," Modi said while pointing out that it was this approach of "inaction" that encouraged the terror outfits from across the border to carry out attacks.
"What did the then government do? They did not change the policy but (changed) only Home Ministers. If they had shown the courage, given reply to the terrorists in their language, terrorism would not have become such a big problem (for the country)," he said.
He slammed the opposition for questioning the success of the Balakot air strikes and saying things which were "music to the ears of Pakistani leaders", who are clapping at these statements.
Pointing to the shift in policy following the Pulwama terror attack, Modi said: "Such action (by armed forces) had never taken place in the past. Our forces hit them (terror outfits) in their own homes. Now terror outfits know that it is not the same old India."
He said the thermal power plants launched at Buxar and Khurja will accelerate India's growth and transform power availability in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other neighbouring states.
During his visit, Modi also unveiled a statue of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay on the archaelogy institute campus and paid floral tributes.
Later he also visited the Deen Dayal Museum on the institute campus.