Bravery shown by you has sent message about India's strength: PM to soldiers in Ladakh
Paying tributes to the 20 Army men killed in a violent face off with Chinese troops in east Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the bravery shown by the soldiers has sent a message about the strength of India.
Addressing the Army, Air Force and ITBP personnel during his surprise visit to Ladakh, he said India's resolve for 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) becomes stronger because of "you and your strong resolve."
He told the personnel that their will power is as strong and firm as the Himalayas and the whole country is proud of them.
In a apparent dig at China without naming it, NDTV.com quoted Modi saying: "The age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development. History is witness that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back."
Senior BJP leaders quickly took to social media to hail the Prime Minister's surprise visit to Ladakh.
Union home minister Amit Shah said the visit will "surely boost the morale of our valorous soldiers."
BJP president J.P. Nadda said the Prime Minister's "words give words to the emotion of 130 crore Indians and act as a great morale booster for our armed forces".
The Congress continued its tirade againt the Prime Minister over the Ladakh clash with party leader Rahul Gandhi questioning Modi over the issue.
"Ladakhis say: China took our land. PM says: Nobody took our land. Obviously, someone is lying," Rahul Gandhi tweeted earlier in the day.
The visit comes amid the recent standoff between the armies of India and China near Ladkakh, where 20 Indian troops were killed on June 14.
The Prime Minister had last month on his month raido programme, Mann ki Baat, said that India has given China a "befitting reply" and called for using local products to build a self-reliant India.