Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hit out at the Congress-led Opposition at all the three election rallies that he addressed during the day in the north-east — one in Arunachal Pradesh and two in Assam.
In a counter to the “chowkidar chor hai” (watchman is a thief) campaign of the Congress, Modi, at an election rally in Assam’s Gohpur, said, “The Opposition is scared of the chowkidar [watchman] people trust.”
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has taken action against corrupt people which has unnerved the Opposition. He blamed the Congress for keeping the country backward and presenting an image of an impoverished nation to the world.
Modi said the Congress serves “only one family” and is not concerned about the progress of the country.
“The Congress has run such governments that gave a great country like India an identity of a weak nation,” Modi said in Moran.
He referred to the surgical strikes that India conducted in 2016 after the Uri attack and the recent Balakot operation by the Indian Air Force in the aftermath of Pulwama suicide bombing in his speech to target the Congress party. He said it was the first time that India “entered the homes of terrorists and killed them”.
“Hindustan is happy but people at two places are not. One is the Congress family and the other is the homes of terrorists… The entire world stands solid behind India but the Congress has lost its sleep,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said the Congress had “tears in its eyes” when scientists shot down a live satellite in space three days ago.
At a rally in Arunachal Pradesh’s Aalo, Modi renewed his attack on the Congress leadership, making indirect references to cases against Congress leaders, including party president Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi. He said they “abuse the chowkidar despite being out on bail”.
“There are leaders who sit in Delhi and evade tax, take away farmers’ land, earn lakhs of rupees as rent from government land given for a newspaper and get commission in defence deals. They are out on bail… They have barely escaped [jail]. They are on bail themselves but abuse the chowkidar,” Modi said.
This was PM Modi’s first election rally in Arunchal Pradesh since the dates for the Lok Sabha polls were announced earlier this month.
“Experts for decades kept saying Arunachal needs modern infrastructure but the naamdar parivar [a phrase often used by Modi to refer to the Nehru-Gandhi family] and their courtiers here were busy building their own sultanate. They didn’t care about you. They cared more for ‘malai’ [cream, a euphuism for kickbacks] for themselves than ‘bhalai’ [welfare] of people,” Modi said.
The PM slammed the Opposition leaders for criticising his government over the recent Balakot strike and announcement of the success of Mission Shakti, under which India shot down a defunct satellite using an anti-satellite missile (A-SAT).
This showcased India’s capability to hit a target in space, becoming only the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to possess such power.
“When scientists achieved success, they mocked them. The achievements which make the entire nation proud, they get rattled. They speak the same language as terrorists,” Modi said, adding, “No one is bothered about them in the country, they are being hailed in Pakistan. Their photographs are published in the newspapers there.”
“They [Opposition] have developed so much of love for the neighbouring country that they don’t even cherish India.”
The BJP is eyeing to maximise its prospects in the Lok Sabha elections in the north-east.
The party has set a target of winning 25 seats from the region. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won eight seats — seven in Assam and one in Arunachal Pradesh.
Mar 30, 2021 23:08 IST