PM Modi during his election rally in poll-bound Maharashtra's Parli. (Photo Credit: Twitter/@BJP4India)
In a blistering attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said history will have a mention of those who ridiculed the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and that Maharashtra now has an opportunity to punish them. He also expressed confidence that the BJP-led alliance will break all victory records in the October 21 state polls. Addressing an election rally at Parli in Maharashtra’s Beed district, he said the state polls are a battle between BJP’s “karyashakti” (power of development) and opposition’s “swarthshakti” (selfishness).
“I trust you and your patriotism that you will teach a resounding lesson to those who speak against interests of the country. History will take note of every person who ridiculed the abrogation of Article 370,” Modi said, alleging that the Congress leaders provided “oxygen” to anti-India elements.
He said some Congress leaders said if Kashmir had Hindu population, this decision would not have been taken. “When it comes to national integrity...you think of Hindu and Muslim. Does this suit you?” he asked.
Continuing his tirade against the opposition party, he said, “Some Congress leaders said Article 370 abrogation is like murdering someone, India-Pakistan issue is not internal matter, abrogating Article 370 will lead to disaster in the country, Kashmir has been lost...the list is so long that I will have to stay here till October 21 to spell it out.”
Modi said the country is looking at an opportunity to punish the Congress. “The opportunity is knocking at Maharashtra’s doors. I have trust in your patriotism that you will teach a lesson those who speak against the national interest,” he said.
He also said that the process of jailing those who “looted” public money has begun. Noting that “lotus” (BJP’s poll symbol) has always bloomed in Beed district, Modi said the next week’s poll results will “break all victory records”.
“The Congress and NCP leaders must be gasping for breath seeing the huge response to BJP’s rallies,” he said. Modi said Beed gave him friends like late BJP leaders Gopinath Munde and Pramod Mahajan.
“These two are no longer around. But, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Pankaja Munde (minister and daughter of Gopinath Munde) are working to fulfil their dreams,” he said.
The BJP cadre is hard-working and winning hearts of the people, he said. “While the Congress and NCP are fighting against each other, which is why many young leaders are quitting these parties, and the seniors are tired and dejected. Now the seniors are openly saying they are tired,” he said.
“Can tired people serve you? What is the need of such people? This poll is a battle of BJP’s ‘karyashakti’ versus ‘swarthshakti’ of the Congress and NCP,” he said. Notably, senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde last week said his party and the NCP have become “tired”.
Modi also highlighted the ‘Jalyukt Shivar’ water conservation scheme and the proposed Marathwada water grid, to provide relief to people the perennially parched region, as achievements of the Fadnavis-led state government.
He also that said Rs 2,000 crore was already deposited in farmers’ accounts (as part of welfare scheme). BJP minister Pankaja Munde is pitted against her cousin and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde in Parli Assembly seat.