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Mamata, Rahul, Oppn leaders hail air warriors

NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday hailed the Indian Air Force (IAF) for carrying out air strikes in Pakistan.

"IAF also means India's Amazing Fighters. Jai Hind," Banerjee tweeted. Opposition leaders also hailed the IAF for its valour.

Lauding the pilots of the Indian Air Force Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "I salute the pilots of the IAF." The Congress also tweeted hailing the role of the Indian Air Force in keeping Indians safe with its consistent and determined effort.

Following an all-party meeting called by the government to brief leaders on the operation, the Congress asserted that it will support security forces in their efforts to finish terrorism coming into India from outside as parties praised the IAF for its action. Joining in, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati offered her salute and respect for the IAF but added that had the Modi government given a free hand to the armed forces earlier terrorist attacks in Pulwama, Pathankot and Uri would have been avoided.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the strike signifies a "totally new ballgame" as it was the first time that air power was used during peacetime to hit terrorist targets in the neighbouring country.

The opposition parties have decided to drop the formulation of the Common Minimum Programme as the agenda for their meeting on Wednesday and will now discuss the strikes against the terror camps in Pakistan instead, sources said.

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