Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the Opposition is already looking dejected after three phases of the Lok Sabha polls. He was speaking at a rally in Banda in Uttar Pradesh.
“The Opposition already has a long face after three phases of polling,” he said. “They know the outcome. They have kept insulting me and even tried changing the focus on insulting the electronic voting machines. In the end, they will be left with nothing.”
The prime minister said that Congress candidates are insulting members of his caste by referring to all those named Modi as thieves. Modi’s statement was a jibe at Congress President Rahul Gandhi who, earlier this month, had wondered how “all thieves have Modi in their names”. Gandhi was referring to Lalit Modi, fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi and the prime minister. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had demanded an apology from Gandhi for his remark.
Modi asked the gathering if they knew the caste of freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and others. “No one knew their caste. Everyone was too busy fighting for freedom,” Modi said.
Modi said first time voters are going to determine the fate of the nation. “Neither the Opposition’s candidates nor political pundits know what the 21st century voter wants,” Modi said.
Modi cautioned Indians against voting for parties fighting on the basis of caste and religion. “In 2014, you broke the chains of caste and religion, and picked this chowkidar [watchman],” Modi said while referring to a Congress jibe at him.
The prime minister also praised his own administration’s policies and claimed that citizens’ lives have improved under the BJP. “The previous governments like the Congress kept so many development projects on hold,” Modi said. “That is why irrigation projects were on hold. But the BJP has completed work for most of them.”
Modi asked the gathering if they were happy with his work and if terrorism should be eliminated. “Many people have stitched new clothes. There are some who are contesting 8 seats, they think they will contest the prime minister’s seat,” Modi said. “There are some who are contesting 20 seats who are also vying for the PM’s seat. The BJP, which is contesting most seats, has pitched my name. Who will eliminate terrorism among these names?”
The prime minister said that a vote for him can help eliminate terrorism in India.
‘India wants Modi back in the PM seat’: Amit Shah
BJP President Amit Shah, addressing a rally in Unnao, said the polls are an election to reelect Narendra Modi to power. “Across the nation, only Modi’s name is being chanted,” Shah said. “The Indian public wants Modi back in the prime minister’s seat.”
At another rally in Ghazipur, Shah claimed that Opposition parties did not have the capability to protect the country. “These ‘mahamilavati’ people talk about the country,” Shah said while taking a jibe at the Opposition’s alliance. “Akhilesh [Yadav], Mayawati and the Congress cannot keep the country safe.”
Shah claimed that Opposition leaders were disappointed with the Indian Air Force’s strike in Pakistan. “Though terrorists of Pakistan were killed [in the Balakot air strikes], there was an atmosphere of mourning in the offices of ‘Bua’ [Mayawati], ‘Bhatija’ [Akhilesh] and ‘Rahul baba’ [Rahul Gandhi].” Shah said.