Indian Express

In Naxal hub, Modi appeals: ‘Make earth green not red’…

Modi ‘saluted’ those who voted in large numbers amid Maoist threat in the last Assembly elections. Tweet This
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Modi with Chief Minister Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, Friday. (PTI) Modi with Chief Minister Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, Friday. (PTI)

Addressing his second rally in Bastar, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi made his first statement on the Maoist issue and urged rebels to “accept democracy”, which has the “best solution for all problems.” Campaigning for the party’s Bastar candidate Dinesh Kashyap in Kondagaon district Friday, Modi also blamed the Maoists for “misleading youths for selfish interests”.

“Maoism has turned this earth red with blood. It is the call of the time, Maoists must accept the power of democracy. Democracy has the best solutions for problems. Bombs, guns and pistols can cause bloodshed but cannot give a new life. We have to shed sweat, not blood. We have to make this earth green, not red. We have to hold pen, instead of bomb, guns and pistols, and participate in the democratic process. Maoism is not going to lead us anywhere,” Modi said.

Modi ‘saluted’ those who voted in large numbers amid Maoist threat in the last Assembly elections and slammed the Congress for its “sins”. “This is the first election that is being contested not by any party but the country. Crores of people are themselves contesting this election. People are no longer voting only for mere change, but to remove Congress and bring BJP,” he said.

He took a dig at the Third Front and said while in any election, parties normally try hard to form the government, “this is the first instance when people are coming together lest Modi comes in power. Why are they so scared? They are scared because their sins are troubling them.”

Calling the Congress manifesto a charter of deceit he said, “In 2009, they promised to reduce inflation within 100 days if their government is formed but it never happened.”

He said in 1980s, the Congress ruled everywhere from panchayats, municipality, states and Centre. Still, PM Rajiv Gandhi said that one rupee that goes from the Centre becomes 15 paise when it reaches villages. “I did not say it, Rajiv Gandhi said it. It was the Congress hand that reduced one rupee to 15 paise. We need a government that if one rupee leaves Delhi, entire 100 paise reaches the home of poor and villages. We need a system that does not have any intermediary.”

He said the tribals have existed since the time of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna but the Congress had no concern for them. “The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was the first government, 50 years after Independence, that set up a separate tribal affairs ministry, a minister and budget. It was then that new schemes for tribal developments were introduced. For the Congress, tribals were a vote bank, they saw any development opportunity in them,” he said.

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh and other senior BJP leaders also shared the stage with Modi.

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