Pak hoping for Rahul to become India’s PM: Modi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Pak hoping for Rahul to become India’s PM: Modi

By, Bishnu K Jha, Ranchi/ Darbhanga
May 05, 2024 05:52 AM IST

PM Modi accuses previous Congress-led governments of being weak on terrorism, denies BJP will change Constitution, criticizes RJD's history of appeasement.

The previous Congress-led governments were “weak” when dealing with Pakistan on the issue of terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, alleging that surgical air strikes by his government had shaken the neighbouring country and they now want the “shehzada” or prince of the Congress, a reference to Rahul Gandhi, to become the next Prime Minister, sharpening his pitch ahead of the third phase of the general elections. He also rejected the Opposition’s allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would change the Constitution and end reservations if the party returned to power, while alleging that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar has a history of appeasement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election rally in Palamu on Saturday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election rally in Palamu on Saturday. (ANI)

“The new India knows how to enter enemy territory and strike... Now shaken by the surgical and air strikes, leaders in Pakistan are praying that the Congress shehzada becomes PM of India,” Modi said at an election rally in Palamu, Jharkhand, repeating a criticism that he had first made earlier this week.

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“Earlier, terrorists used to freely kill innocents and governments used to write love letters to Pakistan. But Pakistan sent more terrorists in response to letters. But with the power of your one vote, I said enough is enough... There was a time when people from Jharkhand and Bihar, used to go to protect our nation [and] were dying for the country on borders. It was a monthly occasion. Coward governments of Congress used to cry about it in the whole world,” PM Modi, adding, “But the strong India only wants a strong government now.”

Modi on Saturday addressed back-to-back rallies in Jharkhand, first in Palamu and then Lohardaga, just days ahead of the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday (May 7). He also addressed a rally in Darbhanga, Bihar, and carried out a roadshow in Kanpur, where he was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The next round of voting in each of these locations will be in the fourth phase of the elections on May 13.

At Palamu, Modi denied the BJP was planning to scrap reservations, saying he has been heading a full majority government for past decade but had taken no such step. “The fact remains we have been running a full majority government for past 10 years, but the BJP didn’t take any such step because we worship the Constitution and Babasaheb Ambedkar,” said Modi.

Modi also justified the action taken against former chief minister Hemant Soren, vowing that his government would continue to act against those involved in corruption.

“A former chief minister is in jail because of his own doing. Now even the courts have stamped their authority on the legal action taken against him. The opposition did joint rallies to save the corrupt in Delhi and Ranchi. But it’s Modi’s guarantee that action as per law will continue against the corrupt in the next five years,” said Modi.

The remark comes a day after the Jharkhand high court rejected Soren’s petition challenging his arrest by the directorate of enforcement (ED) on money laundering charges on January 31.

In Bihar, Modi criticised the alliance between the RJD and the Congress, claiming they were resorting to appeasement politics. Addressing a massive election rally at the historic Raj Ground in Darbhanga, Modi hit out at the “misrule” during the RJD-led regime.

“Today, under the leadership of Nitish ji (Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar), the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is working day and night for the development of Bihar,” PM Modi said. He highlighted India’s progress over the past decade, citing its rise from the 11th to the 5th largest economy in the world.

Modi alleged Congress aims to snatch reservation from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes and give it to Muslims, adding that he won’t allow even a shred of reservation based on religion.

“They now want to snatch away the reservation of SC-ST-OBC. When our Constitution was being drafted, it was unanimously decided by the Constituent Assembly that reservations would never be granted in India based on religion. But now Congress and RJD collectively want to rob the reservation of backward classes, and Dalits and give it to Muslims based on religion.”

Both Congress and RJD are constituents of the Opposition’s Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).

Targeting the Lalu Prasad-led party, Modi said, “The RJD’s history has always been one of appeasement.” Raking up the 2002 Godhra train arson, Modi, without naming RJD president Lalu Prasad, accused the leader of “saving” those responsible for burning alive more than 60 kar sevaks.

“When the Kar Sevaks were burnt alive in Godhra, the father of shehzada (prince) of Bihar, who was the then railway minister, as of now serving his sentence and is out on bail, had formed a committee of Supreme Court judges to save the culprits and made such a report that those culprits should be acquitted, but the court threw his report in the garbage and sentenced them to death,” said PM Modi.

PM Modi congratulated the nation on the historic construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, calling it a significant moment in Indian history. Reflecting on its significance, he emphasised, “After 500 years, our wait has ended. We are witnessing this auspicious time in our lifetime.”

PM Modi urged the people of Bihar to vote for development and progress, rallying support for NDA candidates in the upcoming elections. “We cannot let Bihar go back to the lantern era,” he said. The lantern is the RJD’s poll symbol.

Modi has already addressed seven rallies in Bihar which sends 40 of the 543 members to the Lok Sabha. In 2019, the BJP-led NDA swept the state by winning 39 out of 40 seats. Congress won just one seat. RJD, a formidable force in the state, failed to open its account.

In Jharkhand, the BJP-led NDA won 12 seats in the 2019 elections, with the BJP winning 11. Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress got one seat each.

Opposition leaders hit back with Congress leader Shashi Tharoor saying, “Our manifesto is a strong document with a vision for the future. Modi is making up imaginary ideas that are not in our manifesto and attacking us for that. We too can come up with imaginary things about Modi but we are not doing that.”

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra called Modi a ”shahenshah” (emperor) who lives in a palace but is cut off from the public. While, addressing a public rally at Lakhani in Gujarat’s Banaskantha Lok Sabha constituency, she said several BJP leaders have said on record that their government will change the Constitution if it returns to power.

“When they say they want to change the Constitution, it means they want to reduce and weaken all the rights given to you in the Constitution. If you understand politics today, the biggest thing that Modi has done in the last 10 years is to weaken the rights of the public,” she said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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