Taking on Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on his home turf, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi sought to put him on the mat for the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar, accusing the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister of failing the victims of the violence.
“Hamare Netaji ki ek kathinai hai. Jahaan mulayam hona chahiye wahaan kathor ho jaatey hain aur jahaan kathor hona chahiye wahaan mulayam ho jatey hain (Mulayam has a problem. When he needs to be soft, he becomes tough. And where he needs to be tough, he becomes soft),” Modi told a public meeting.
“If our sisters and daughters are raped, he becomes mulayam (soft) on rapists. Riots took place and children died due to hunger, he should have been soft on them and should be worried about their survival but he became kathor (tough),” he said referring to last year’s riots in Muzaffarnagar which displaced thousands of people and forced them to live in relief camps.
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Bharthana is a Yadav stronghold and is equidistant from Kannauj, Mainpuri and Etawah, Mulayam’s bastions.
The wheat field where Modi’s rally was organised belonged to a Muslim, Abdul Aziz, who willingly offered it for the event after harvesting the wheat overnight while many others were not willing to.
But several Yadavs turned up to hear Modi. “We have come only to see Modi, so have many others, we have heard a lot about him,” said Chetram Yadav, a local. Youths dominated the crowd and responded to almost every line of Modi.
The Gujarat chief minister once again took on his UP counterpart over the lions from his state. Modi said he would have been happy if Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had demanded Gir cows as they would have brought prosperity to the Yaduvansh in the region.
“I am happy that Gujarat lions are now roaring in Etawah. As my programme was scheduled, strong winds have started to blow. These winds will topple the Delhi government,” he said.
“I have close relations with Yaduvansh,” Modi said as he tried to strike a chord in the Yadav belt. “Krishna resides in my Dwarka Nagri. Yaduvansh rears Gir cows there. Yaduvansh lives here too. Netaji, it would have been better if you had demanded Gir cows which would have brought change in their lives with development,” Modi said.
He also targeted what he said was the deteriorating law enforcement situation in Uttar Pradesh.
“It is the misfortune of UP. Some people construct parks for elephants while some are fond of rearing lions. UP has become a heaven for criminals. Here even the poor apply for gun licence. Don’t you people want safety, security for honest people ?” Modi said.
Sounding confident, Modi claimed polling trends so far indicated the Congress would not touch double figures in any state and would be wiped out from several states.
“For changing your fate, first change the Delhi government and then the Lucknow government, if you do not want to live a life of misery like your parents. Get rid of family rule both in Delhi and Lucknow,” he said.