Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday, alleging that the high voter turnout in the state during the first two phases of the Lok Sabha elections has disturbed Banerjee.
Modi said at a rally in Buniadpur that despite violence by Trinamool Congress “goons”, people turned up in large numbers to vote. “The reports of the voter turnout in Bengal in the first two phases have put a speed breaker on Didi’s sleep,” Modi said. “Rattled by this, Trinamool Congress killed one more BJP worker in Purulia,” he claimed. “I assure you that justice will be done and the culprits brought to book.”
Modi said he had thought that Banerjee wants to rid West Bengal of the Left Front. “But after witnessing what transpired in Bengal, I hang my head in shame,” he added. The prime minister claimed that Banerjee had betrayed the people of the state.
“The poor lost their money in the Narada, Saradha and Rose Valley scams,” Modi said. “She made scamsters MPs, and even sat on a dharna for the corrupt.”
The prime minister claimed the West Bengal chief minister wants to apply the model of her state to the entire country. “A model where the poor are kept poor, it’s difficult to carry out religious processions and people are invited from another country to canvass in elections for appeasement,” he said. Modi was referring to Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed campaigning for the Trinamool Congress candidate from Raiganj. The Centre cancelled Ahmed’s visa on April 16.
In Bihar’s Araria, the prime minister said that some people are uncomfortable about saying “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” today. Modi asked people to chant the slogan to hurt those who chant “Bharat tere tukde honge”, or “India will be broken into pieces”.
“Before belonging to any caste or religion, we are Indians and our identity is that of an Indian,” he said. Modi claimed that he had tried to serve the people for five years by holding this sentiment to heart.
Modi said that when terrorists attacked India in November 2008, the Indian Army asked the government for permission to enter Pakistan and finish them. “But the Congress refused to give them permission, because they wanted to practice ‘vote bhakti’ politics,” he alleged. “Everybody knew that the terrorists were from Pakistan, but the Congress and its allies, instead of punishing Pakistan, hatched a conspiracy to label Hindus as terrorists. They made a plan to change the direction of the investigation.”
On the other hand, Modi said, the BJP government carried out a surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after the Uri attack, and then an air strike in Balakot after the Pulwama attack.
The prime minister claimed that those who were earlier asking for proof of the Balakot strikes have gone silent after two rounds of polling. Modi said that it is uncertain whether the Congress will be able to even hold on to the 44 seats it won in the 2014 elections.
Modi said that the Opposition is spreading the lie that the introduction of 5% quota for the unreserved categories was a step in the direction of doing away with reservations altogether, PTI reported. “Beware of such lies,” he told the audience.
The Lok Sabha elections are being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. The results will be announced on May 23.
Modi should be re-elected to give a ‘befitting reply’ to terror: Shah
BJP President Amit Shah, meanwhile, said Narendra Modi should be made the prime minister once again to secure the country and to give a “befitting reply” to terrorism and Pakistan, reported PTI. Shah held a road show at Bhadravathi in Shivamogga, Karnataka, while campaigning for party candidate BY Raghavendra, the son of Karnataka BJP President and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa.
“This election is not only about making Raghavendra Member of Parliament, but to make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister,” Shah said. “Why should we make Narendra Modi Prime Minister? To secure the country, to give a befitting reply to terrorism and Pakistan. In order to give a befitting reply to Pakistan, people of Shimogga will have to press the ballot button adjacent to the Lotus symbol and Raghavendra’s name.”