‘Operation Ganga’ proof of India’s increasing influence around the globe: PM Modi 

Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena slam PM for politicising the whole affair

Updated - March 06, 2022 07:55 pm IST

Published - March 06, 2022 06:07 pm IST - Pune

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the unveiling ceremony of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in Pune.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the unveiling ceremony of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in Pune. | Photo Credit: PTI

The fact that India is able to evacuate its citizens out of war–torn Ukraine through “Operation Ganga” is proof of the country’s increasing influence around the globe, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

Speaking during the inauguration of the golden jubilee celebrations of the city-based Symbiosis University, the Prime Minister said big countries are facing problems in getting out their citizens safely during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“Big countries are finding it difficult to evacuate their citizens …But it is due to the growing influence of India in the globe that we have brought thousands of students back to our homeland,” Mr. Modi said, underscoring the confidence of the “new India” while remarking that India today was “innovating, improving, and influencing the whole world”.

The Prime Minister said India had today emerged as the global leader in the sectors which were previously considered out of its reach.

“India has become the second largest mobile manufacturer in the world. Seven years ago, there were only two mobile manufacturing companies in India. Today more than 200 manufacturing units are engaged in this work. Even in defence, India, which was recognised as the world’s largest importer country, is now becoming a defence exporter,” Mr. Modi said, adding that two major defence corridors were coming up where the biggest modern weapons would be manufactured to meet the country’s defence needs.

In a veiled dig at erstwhile governments, the PM, addressing students in the audience, said: “Your generation is fortunate in a way that it has not suffered the damaging impact of the earlier defensive and dependent psychology. If this change has come in the country, then the first credit of it also goes to all of you, goes to our youth.”

The BJP’s touting of “Operation Ganga” and its claims of ‘evacuating’ students from the war zone has led to fierce sabre-rattling with other parties as the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Shiv Sena — allies in the tripartite ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ coalition in Maharashtra — have slammed the BJP leadership and Mr. Modi for politicising the whole affair.

While Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi have censured the BJP leaders’ “irresponsible comments” over the plight of the students, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had rebuked Mr. Modi saying it was more important for the Centre to focus on evacuating all Indian students stranded there than the PM to inaugurate projects in Pune.

Speaking in Osmanabad district today, Mr. Pawar said: “Since the last few days, I have been in touch with students stranded there. There are students from every village in Maharashtra who have gone there with the aspiration of becoming doctors…They are children from ordinary families and are living there with no food, no water, and enduring a precarious existence amid the Russian shelling. There should no politics in getting them out safely.”

Both Mr. Gandhi and Ms. Chaturvedi had slammed BJP leaders who were remarking that the students went to the Ukraine as they had failed here and could not get admission to medical colleges in India.

Earlier this week, a Sena editorial in the party’s mouthpieceSaamana had accused the BJP leaders of being more focused on holding roadshows in poll–bound States rather than in acting early to mitigate the sufferings of the students.

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