Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Congress, saying India’s defence interests were compromised under its rule, and asserted nothing is more important to his government than protecting the country.

Modi hit out at the opposition party, which headed the coalition government at the Centre during 2004-14, after inaugurating the strategically important 9.02-km Atal Tunnel, the world’s longest highway tunnel which reduces the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km and the travel time by four to five hours.

He cited a number of strategically important projects, from Atal Tunnel to the air strip at Daulat Beg Oldi in Ladakh and Tejas fighter aircraft production, to assert that they were delayed or almost forgotten and questioned as to what “compulsion” and “pressure” might have been behind it, without directly naming the Congress.
His government, the prime minister said, has deployed all its strength to develop border infrastructure, adding that never before has work been done at such a big scale, be it building roads, bridges or tunnels.