A standoff with nuclear rival Pakistan appears to have given Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a boost ahead of national elections set to begin in April.

After a suicide bombing killed 40 soldiers in Indian-controlled Kashmir, India’s air force launched a strike on an alleged terrorist training camp inside Pakistan.

The crisis has helped the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led government to turn attention away from its mixed record on the economy.

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of a campaign aimed at opening millions of bank accounts for poor Indians in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das, File)
FILE – In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of a campaign aimed at opening millions of bank accounts for poor Indians in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das, File)

Conflicting government accounts on the damage caused by the Indian strike in Pakistan have given opposition parties more ammunition to attack Modi. But Modi has used their doubts about the strike to polish his own “strongman” credentials.

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, Indian paramilitary soldiers carry the remains of colleagues at the site of a suicide bombing in Pampore, Indian-controlled Kashmir. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)
FILE – In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, Indian paramilitary soldiers carry the remains of colleagues at the site of a suicide bombing in Pampore, Indian-controlled Kashmir. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2019, file photo, Indian muslims burn posters of Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, center, and Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar, during a protest against Thursday's attack on a paramilitary convoy in Kashmir that killed at least 40, in Mumbai, India. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade, File)
FILE – In this Feb. 15, 2019, file photo, Indian muslims burn posters of Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, center, and Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar, during a protest against Thursday’s attack on a paramilitary convoy in Kashmir that killed at least 40, in Mumbai, India. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol near the India-Pakistan international border area at Gakhrial boder post in Akhnoor sector, about 48 kilometers from Jammu, India. (AP Photo/Channi Anand, File)
FILE – In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol near the India-Pakistan international border area at Gakhrial boder post in Akhnoor sector, about 48 kilometers from Jammu, India. (AP Photo/Channi Anand, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2016, file photo, Indian policemen stand guard during a curfew in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)
FILE – In this Aug. 12, 2016, file photo, Indian policemen stand guard during a curfew in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)
FILE - In this July 19, 2009, file photo, an Indian Border Security Force soldier, right, and a Pakistani Rangers soldier face one another at a daily closing ceremony at the Wagah border post near Lahore, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)
FILE – In this July 19, 2009, file photo, an Indian Border Security Force soldier, right, and a Pakistani Rangers soldier face one another at a daily closing ceremony at the Wagah border post near Lahore, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)