Accusing the Opposition of having a “crooked vision (vakradrashti)” by finding faults in the management of Covid-19 and border security, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said they have created an atmosphere to suggest “there was unrest in the country” but the recent elections have proved that “135 crore people of the country stood like a rock with Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
The minister, who was on a visit to the border village of Dhordo in Kutch, to launch the Simant Kshetra Vikasotsava (Border Area Development Programme – BADP), appealed for a more proactive role for village leaders and elected representatives in “securing our borders”, emphasising how guarding the borders was “the primary duty of every citizen”.
The BADP is a 1993 initiative of the Central government to improve lives of people living in border areas and secure the borders. Shah addressed a gathering of sarpanches and leaders of 158 border villages.
Addressing some 1,500 delegates from the districts of Kutch, Patan and Banaskantha, which share borders with Pakistan, Shah said, “Some political parties, some political leaders, who have a crooked vision, see everything with suspicion, it is their habit, to find fault in anything good… they probably think that if they lie a 1000 times, it becomes the truth… however, people have awakened because schemes are no longer on paper, in the secretariat, or in files, but they have reached homes, villages, and individuals.”
“We saw elections in Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Manipur, Leh, Ladakh… people rejected leaders and parties with a crooked vision and made the BJP’s lotus bloom… sending a message… 135 crore people are with Narendra Modi like a rock and they support his every move,” Shah said.
The minister said when infiltration and attacks took place earlier, “India wouldn’t retaliate and merely issue a diplomatic statement”. But now even the youngest BSF personnel could “look in the eye of the strongest force in the world and fight them head on,” he said.
Shah said, “Whoever did mischief, be it on the border of Kashmir or in Pulwama, the Prime Minister gave them befitting replies not by diplomatic statements but by surgical strike and airstrike…”
The home minister claimed that the Modi government had done more for border development in six years than what was done in 50 years before it.
“The objective of the Simant Kshetra Vikasotasav is to ensure that people living in border areas get similar facilities as citizens living in Ahmedabad, Mumbai or Delhi… The main objective is to ensure that good governance and development reach the villages in border areas,” said Shah, adding that “migration should not happen from the either the hills of Uttarakhand, or the borders on Jammu frontiers, in Northeast, or villages of Bhuj taluka…”
Another objective, Shah said, was to raise awareness about national security among village leaders, sarpanches, local MLAs and MPs as they are the ones who man the 15,000-km border whereas majority of 135 crore people of this country are living in interior areas.
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