Wardha (Maharashtra): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, April 1, accused the Congress of coining the term “Hindu Terror” for pursuing its vote-bank politics” and thereby painting crores of Hindus as terrorists which hurt their sentiments.
“In our 5000-year old culture, it’s the first time the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) committed the sin of calling the peaceful Hindus ‘terrorists’ and maligning them before the whole world,” roared Modi at a rally here.
The allusion was to the Malegaon 2006 and 2008 terror blasts in which the role of some Hindu groups had first come to the fore during investigations by state and central agencies.
“This is being done to pamper their vote-bank politics and they will go to any extent to protect them, so the Congress-NCP keeps insulting the common Hindus, our brave soldiers, demand proof of the IAF (Indian Air Force) actions in Pakistan, etc, which is making them popular in the neighbouring country,” he said.
“You decide — Who do you want? Indian heroes or those who have become heroes in Pakistan? Will you teach them a lesson or not? You must create a record by ensuring that the Congress-NCP do not win a single seat (of 48) in Maharashtra,” Modi urged the gathering here.
He said with the recent court verdict, they are running scared that the Hindus will punish them now, so they lack courage to stand in Hindu-dominated constituencies and running around to other minority-dominated seats for elections, in an obvious reference to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s plans to contest from both Amethi and Wayanad in Kerala, without naming.
He singled out the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and its top leadership, for a brutal attack, accusing them of ignoring farmers for decades and indulging in blatant corruption.
Targeting NCP President Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and others Modi said that owing to a severe ‘intra-family crises’ the party’s grip was slipping from Sharad Pawar’s hands.
“Sharad Pawar is one of the most experienced leaders. Anything he does or speaks is after deep calculations. First he said he would fight the elections, but suddenly backtracked. The person who once believed he could become the PM has left the battlefield even before the battle has begun. Even he knows which way the wind is blowing,” Modi thundered.
He said that the power play within the family coupled with Ajit Pawar gradually tightening his hold on the party had created huge problems for the NCP to even allot ticket to candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.
In March, Pawar flip-flopped on contesting for the Lok Sabha, before deciding to give the opportunity to gen-next by nominating his grand-nephew Parth Ajit Pawar from the Maval constituency.
“During their tenure as Ministers in the Centre and state, the Pawars only looted thousands of crores of rupees through irrigation projects, infrastructure, realty sectors. They were now worried about all these scams,” Modi said.
And it was because of the multi-thousand crore rupees irrigation scam that a drought situation had been created in the Vidarbha region, he said.
Modi charged the Pawars with ignoring various big and small irrigation projects and said the BJP government had completed 99 such incomplete dam works, of which 36 were in Maharashtra alone.
Instead, he said, the Congress-NCP government in 2011 had ordered police firing which killed four farmers protesting in Maval, but the BJP-Shiv Sena government took up the Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan in earnest that has helped to resolve the drinking water crises in the state.
Modi’s attacks on the Pawars — considered the most influential political family in the state — came while launching the BJP’s election campaign from Wardha in Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashtra.
Earlier, Modi said he was “proud” to be a “chowkidar of toilets”, while taking the Congress abuse as an “ornament”.
Referring to a Congress leader’s reported comments comparing him with a chowkidar of toilets, Modi claimed he was “a guardian of the dignity and self-respect of millions of women”, who faced huge embarrassment in the absence of toilets in their homes.
“I am proud and happy to be the custodian of the ‘izzat’ of crores of women who have to run out before sunrise or wait till sunset for their ablutions,” Modi said here as he launched the Bharatiya Janata Party’s election campaign for Maharashtra.
“By insulting me, the Congress has insulted the sanitation workers who toil to keep toilets clean. It may be a laughing matter for them, but I am absolutely serious about it.”
Present on the occasion were Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ramdas Athawale and BJP Lok Sabha candidates from the Vidarbha region.