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This article was first published 10 years ago

The prince has no business accusing Muslims: Modi on Rahul

October 25, 2013 20:47 IST

Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Jhansi ki Rani, a special economic package and providing opportunities for the backward classes.

These were among some of the many points raised by Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi during a rally at Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh on Friday.

The Gujarat chief minister had obviously done his homework before delivering a speech that touched upon all the issues dear to the locals of the impoverished region of Bundelkhand.

In a fervent appeal to the massive crowd which had converged at Jhansi, Modi said, "You have given the Congress 60 years. Now give us just 60 months and I can assure you we will change your taqdeer (fate) as well as the tasveer (picture) of this country".

In his 50-minute speech, which drew intermittent thunderous applause, Modi made it a point to run down the Congress party and challenge its leader Rahul Gandhi on several counts.

Referring to Rahul’s statement -- claiming intelligence inputs about Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence getting in touch with some riot victims in Muzaffarnagar -- Modi asked, "In what capacity was Rahul receiving intelligence inputs from the country’s intelligence agency? After all, he is just a Member of Parliament who has not taken any oath of office of secrecy".

Reportage: Sharat Pradhan

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'Name those who have been contacted by the ISI'

Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Modi put the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in a tight spot by adding, "Since this shahzada (prince) has publicly claimed that he has specific information about such a sensitive matter, he needs to name those who have been contacted by the ISI".

In an obvious bid to placate Muslims who were bound to be hurt by Rahul's remark, the BJP star campaigner said, "If Rahul cannot name them and take suitable action, then he has no business accusing members of a particular community".

Reminding the crowd of the vow Jhansi's Rani Lakshmi Bai had taken -- to not surrender to the British in 1857 -- Modi urged them to raise the slogan , “Beimano ko nahi denge, nahi denge; yeh apna desh hum beimano ko nahin denge (We will not hand over our country to the dishonest).”

The crowd echoed the catchy slogan in a reverberating chorus.

While hailing his party for making him the PM candidate, he said, “It is the greatness of my party that a man from a backward caste, who used to sell tea in trains during his childhood, has been selected as its candidate.”

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'Please make me a watchman'

Photographs: Sandeep Pal

He added, “I wish to tell you that you need not make me the prime minister; please make me a watchman and I can assure you that I will not allow anyone to pinch from the nation’s treasury.”

He laid much emphasis on the oft-repeated talk of “special economic package” by the Congress as well as successive UP governments under the rule of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party.

After the crowd responded with a resounding 'no' to the query, "Have you received anything from the package," he pointedly accused the Congress, the BSP and the SP of pilfering from the so-called package.

"All that much hyped package has gone into the pockets of leaders of these three parties," he alleged.

He also sought to draw a comparison between the two parts of Bundelkhand that fall in UP and in Madhya Pradesh.

"Proper use of the same package that went to the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh portion of Bundelkhand has done wonders as agricultural production has gone up by three times, simply because there is an honest and dedicated BJP Chief Minister -- Shivraj Singh Chauhan -- ruling there," he pointed out.

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'Your fate will change when you throw the troika out'

Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Terming the Congress, SP and BSP as a “troika”, he said, "They are experts in looting", and appealed to the crowd to "teach them all a lesson".

He said, "UP has tremendous potential but these three parties have never allowed it to grow -- it has been the victim of the Congress party’s arrogance, the SP’s indulgence in promoting its own family and the BSP’s personal aggrandisement".

"Your fate will change only when you throw this troika out," said Modi.

Using Gandhi’s recent reference to the assassination of his grandmother Indira Gandhi, he sought to train his guns at the Congress for its alleged role in the anti-Sikh riots in the aftermath of the former prime minister’s death.

"Rahul Gandhi has said that he was filled with anger after his grandmother Indira Gandhi’s assassination; sure enough, that anger of all Congressmen was reflected in the killing of thousands of Sikhs across the country. But let me remind the prince (Rahul) that no one has been punished for that until this day,” he told the gathering, in an implicit reference to the controversy about his alleged involvement in the post-Godhra riots.

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The prince has no business accusing Muslims: Modi on Rahul


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