The Prime Minister rejected the Congress’s claim of having waived farmers’ loans in States ruled by it and the promise of replicating the measure across the country, if voted to power
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday defended himself against Opposition criticism for raking up the issue of national security during the election campaign, asserting uprooting terrorism is crucial to poverty alleviation. He underlined that national security is an important issue as the money spent on it could be utilised in a better way for the uplift of the poor. Modi rejected the Congress’s claim of having waived farmers’ loans in States ruled by it and the promise of replicating the measure across the country, if voted to power. He alleged that no poor dalit or adivasi gained from the loan waiver and only the Opposition party’s “chela chapaati” (cronies) enjoyed the benefits. Modi mocked regional satraps for nursing prime ministerial ambitions even while contesting only 20-40 or as little as eight seats in the case of Karnataka.
“They (the Opposition) ask why does Modi keep on talking about terrorism? It is not an issue. The voters understand that national security and terrorism are important issues but these selfish dynasts are unable to realise this simple fact,” he told an election rally in this north Bihar town. He spoke about the killing of over 359 people in terror attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. “Factories of terror are running in our neighborhood. Yet, they have the temerity to say it is not an issue,” Modi said, in an apparent reference to opposition parties taking exception to his invoking Balakot airstrikes to avenge the Pulwama killing of 40 CRPF troopers during his election speeches.
Oppn will get ‘zero battey sannata’, says Modi:
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday promised to work “in mission mode” to rid Bundelhand of its water scarcity, while also claiming that the opposition will be reduced to ‘zero battey sannata’ in the Lok Sabha polls. The Prime Minister said elaborate security was not required for VIPs in the past, nor was police deployed in front of places of worship on a scale that is witnessed today. There was also no need for intensive checking and frisking at railway stations and bus terminuses. In the last 40 years, he said, the country was forced to spend huge resources for upgrading the security apparatus. “That money could have been spent on building schools and hospitals for the poor,” he said. Highlighting the hardship faced by low-ranking personnel in security forces, he said, they come from poor background, and because of the tense situation, they are forced to work non-stop for days together without getting even a wink of sleep. “Opposition leaders are going with long faces after half of the polling is over as they know the outcome,” he said at a public meeting here in Bundelkhand.
“The Opposition will get ‘zero battey sannata’,” he added, playing on the name of a Hindi movie, ‘Nil Battey Sannata’, which means zero divided by zero - a slang for nothing. Stating that he understands well the problem of acute water scarcity in the region, which is also responsible for its backwardness, the Prime Minister said it will be handled “in mission mode”. “I feel the struggle for water faced by my sisters. This challenge also has been accepted by your chowkidar,” said Modi. He promised to start work to provide water to the parched region “in mission mode” within a month after the announcement of the election result, if they return “the Modi Government” to the power again. He said he would get women rid of water scarcity just like he freed them from smoke by providing LPG connections and the personal humiliation by providing toilets. He also promised to establish a ‘Jal Shakti Mantralaya’ to deal with the country-wide problem of water scarcity by reviving rivers. If voted to power, his next Government would make an all out effort to ensure that water reaches people though all available means just like, he said, his Government provided electricity to all villages in the last five years.
Accusing the previous Governments of “doing selfish politics”, the Prime Minister rued that even the Congress Government supported by the SP and BSP kept hundreds of irrigation projects pending. “We have taken up 99 such big projects and most of them are on the verge of completion,” he said, while also referring to his Government’s various other work like the Bundelkhand Expressway and the defence corridor projects impacting the region. Jibing at the Opposition, he said all the leaders in the poll fray, despite fielding a small numbwer of candidates are dreaming of becoming Prime Minister. He said the SP-BSP and the Congress have not told people about any of their schemes for ending terrorism and appear to be afraid of talking about the terrorism. Attacking the Opposition for seeking votes in the name of caste and creed, he lamented that it was being done even after so many years of Independence.
“The SP-BSP is seeking my caste certificate, even the ‘naamdar’ of Congress is abusing the backwards through their criticism of Modi,” he said, adding they can think only up to caste and creed as they do not want to talk about ‘ek Bharat, shresth Bharat.’ Referring to various freedom fighters, he said those great men are not known for their castes but for their work. “Even after so many years of independence, votes are sought on caste basis. And after coming to power, it is politics of vendetta,” he said, adding this model of politics has led to discrimination not only among individuals but also on regional basis. He said the Opposition did not get anything in the first half election by abusing Modi. “So, now in the remaining half, the Opposition will keep abusing EVMs,” he said. Exhorting the voters, he said, “When you press the button on ‘kamal’, it (the vote) will be directly deposited in Modi’s account.” Banda, one of the four Lok Sabha constituencies in the Bundelkhand region is going to polls on May 6, while the voting for its three other parliamentary segments -- Hamirpur, Jalaun and Jhansi is to be held on April 29. The Bundelkhand region is considered a stronghold of the BJP since 1991