While continuing to target the Congress, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday also hit out at the AAP government in Delhi, raising the twin issues of the death of a youth from Arunachal Pradesh and alleged harassment of Ugandan women.
Addressing a rally here, he said, “We should try to make Delhi a global city. But in the last few days, the language and actions have brought disrepute, not only to the national capital but to the entire country… African women were ill-treated. Students from Manipur have been ill-treated. Now a student from Arunachal Pradesh was killed. This does not look good for the city.”
Though Modi did not name Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who had declared himself an “anarchist” while staging a protest demanding action against Delhi Police officers, or his Law Minister Somnath Bharti, who led the controversial raid targeting Ugandan women in South Delhi, he criticised the Delhi government for being “careless” about governance.
Calling for hostels for Northeast students in major urban centres across the country, Modi said the government in Delhi is not bothered about these things.
“In Delhi, a student from Arunachal Pradesh was killed under the nose of Sonia Gandhi… It is shameful,” he said. Continuing his attack on Sonia, a day after she accused the BJP of sowing “seeds of poison”, he said it is the Congress which sows seeds of poison and reaps the harvest from it by its divisive politics.
“Congress party has started a new raga. You ask some question, they will answer something else. When people ask Sonia about farmers’ suicides, she says they are farming poison,” he said.
“At the Congress’s Jaipur meeting, Rahul Gandhi said his mother (Sonia) told him that power is poison. Who has been in power the longest? If power is poison, who has tasted it the most? Who is sowing poison? And who is harvesting that poison? It is the character of the Congress to play divisive politics. It is the party of divide-and-rule that indulges in vote bank politics,” said Modi.
“The Vajpayee government got a separate Uttarakhand, both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand celebrated as we had sown affection. Similarly, both Bihar and Jharkhand celebrated. It was the same story with Chhattisgarh. But those who have sown poison have brought turmoil in Telangana as well as Seemandhra,” said Modi, targeting the Centre for allegedly mishandling the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. “Enough with the politics of poison, the time has come for politics of development,” he said.
Attacking the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Modi said, “Riots were not uncommon till over 10 years ago. But since then, the people of Gujarat have decided to live in peace, unity and harmony, shunning vote bank politics and following politics of development… Don’t you all want a riot-free Uttar Pradesh? The BJP believes in peace, unity and harmony. We will provide you a riot-free Uttar Pradesh”.
Stating that Modi had never supported the Gujarat riots, BJP president Rajnath Singh said, “They (Congress) demand an apology from Modi. There was a lone incident that happened during his 12-year regime, while there have been numerous riots during the regimes of Congress, SP and BSP. Modi never justified those riots. He termed them unfortunate. Now the per capita income of minorities in Gujarat is better than that of minorities in other parts of the country.”
He added that the BJP, if voted to power, would honour the one-rank-one-pension demand of ex-servicemen.
Modi and Singh sought to woo the farming community by invoking former Prime Minister Charan Singh and late farmer leader Mahendra Singh Tikait, both of whom hailed from the region.
Meanwhile, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh joined the BJP at the rally on Sunday.
Birla said her campaign this time is “very similar” to the last time.