In his first rally in Western UP after the announcement of the elections, the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi stayed away from the issues related to the Muzaffarnagar riots, and instead pitched data from the Sachar committee report to assert that Muslims in Gujarat were “better off” than those in UP.
Lashing out at the Congress, he said that their brand of secularism had “destroyed Muslims” and treated them only as a vote bank.
Addressing an impressive crowd on the outskirts of Bulandshahr, he made no reference to the riots which claimed at least 60 lives in September last year, despite Muzaffarnagar and Shamli being only around 100 km away.
In fact, he went ahead and mocked those who bring up “secularism” to deride him. “Aaj kal fashion ho gaya hai. When Modi says vikas, they say secularism ka kya hoga. When Modi says apradh, they say secularism ka kya hoga. Secularism, secularism, secularism. I ask you. Do you not want a corruption free, crime free and devlopment oriented government,” he said in the rally which was also attended by scores of Muslims.
“I challenge them today. The Prime Minister announced targeted policies for Muslims, but when a Rajya Sabha MP asked a question it was found out that no money had actually been received. Musalmaanon ko tabah kar rahe hai secularism ke naam pe (They are destroying Muslims in the name of secularism),” Modi said.
Referring to Sachar panel report, Modi said while PSUs in UP have only 6 per cent Muslim employees, public sector organisations in Gujarat have 8.5 per cent Muslims among their staff. “Further, in lower level government jobs, Gujarat employs 16 per cent of Muslims, while UP employs only 5 per cent,” he said.
Terming this Lok Sabha polls as “special”, he said, “This time, the elections will bring doom for SABKA (Sa for SP, B for BSP and Ka for Congress) and public will punish them.”
The Gujarat CM sold dreams of modernisation and development, and said “These days, in the world of IT, if you do not know computers, you are seen as illiterate. Do you want your children to be seen as illiterate? I want to ask your laptop selling government, how does UP only has 10 per cent schools that can impart computer education. In Gujarat, this figure in 73 per cent.”