PM Modi dares to go where Atal Bihari Vajpayee didn’t

PM Modi in Washington

NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi was upbeat when a senior minister met him on Thursday morning. Reports that Army units had returned safely after hitting terror launch-pads in PoK clearly buoyed the PM, who was under attack for not delivering on his tough talk.

The need to “teach a lesson” to the Pakistani establishment was being keenly experienced in the top rungs of the government in the light of inflamed public opinion following the Uri attack+ . “There is a need to impose some costs,” a BJP member said a day before the cross-LoC strikes, summing up the mood. The action was instantly welcomed by party functionaries.

Modi’s decision carries the risk of escalation of the showdown and BJP officials said the Centre was prepared for that possibility. Pakistan had been forced to bear the risks of adventurism and accept that henceforth the costs wouldn’t be India’s alone. This was at the centre of the shift the PM affected in his Pakistan policy+ .

If the government can maintain the advantage it has gained, the cross-LoC raids will be a boost to the PM’s political fortunes when opinion polls show him enjoying a high popularity rating. Apart from silencing critics accusing him of non-action, it should help BJP ahead of the UP polls where it is pitted in a tough contest with SP and BSP .

Winning UP is important in the light of BJP’s defeat in Bihar last year and will be a morale booster for elections in Karnataka and Gujarat in the run-up to the 2019 LS polls.

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