Political battles were decided not in boxing rings but in the court of the people, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Shah said in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, responding to Samajwadi Party's counter to Narendra Modi's "56 inch chest" remarks.
Shah was responding to SP leader Azam Khan's remarks made in Rampur on Saturday that Modi should speak cautiously about Mulayam Singh Yadav as the latter was a wrestler too.
Shah, BJP prime ministerial candidate Modi's trusted lieutenant and in-charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, made scathing attack on the Congress, SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party, and claimed, "There was a wave against all the three parties in the state."
Addressing a rally in eastern UP's Gorakhpur on January 23, Modi had said Mulayam could not transform UP into Gujarat, as "it requires 56-inch chest," apparently suggesting that it requires decisiveness. The remarks had drawn counter from the SP.
Shah said the Congress should announce its prime ministerial nominee and give the people a chance to elect him or her. He, however, refused to comment on Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma's allegations of covert relations between the SP and BJP, and former home secretary R P N Singh's remarks that nobody had seen Modi selling tea.
Shah said there was anger among the people towards the Congress-led government. "The Congress leaders have lost their mental balance" by sensing the general mood of a change in power and were making "baseless" statements”, he said.
In a reply to a question, he alleged that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the SP supremo were giving statements like "the people have not forgot 2002 riots" and "Modi's hands were soaked with blood" out of desperation.
Mounting attack on the SP, he alleged that the UP government was not working within the ambit of the Constitution and was not concerned with the security of the state and the nation.
It was clear from the state government's move to withdraw cases against people belonging to a particular community, he said, adding that there was confusion in the state over post of the CM and there were several CMs in UP.
He reiterated that Ram temple was not a poll agenda and the BJP leadership had taken a decision after much consideration.
On a question regarding Modi contesting the Lok Sabha elections, he said that it was not yet decided from where he would contest.
Image: Narendra Modi's aide Amit Shah