November 21, 2014 5:56:13 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday alleged that his opponents tried to murder BJP’s candidate from the Latehar assembly constituency because they feared losing. Modi was addressing a pre-election campaign rally in Latehar’s Chandwa town to support the BJP-AJSU alliance’s five candidates – for Latehar, Chatra, Lohardaga, Gumla and Bishunpur constituencies – which go to polls on November 25, in the first of the state’s five-phased poll. Modi, on a one-day campaign visit to the state, had addressed a rally at Daltonganj town earlier.
Ram’s personal assistant and a security guard were killed when his vehicle collided with an empty coal truck on November 14, less than five km from where the PM’s meeting took place. “Those who know it is not possible to win the election have begun the politics of murder,” Modi said. On arrival at the venue at 1.45 in the afternoon, Modi was seen talking with concerned expressions to Ram, who has his fractured left arm on a sling.
Soon after his accident, Ram had alleged that it was an attempt on his life. A source close to him said Ram privately suspected it to be the handiwork of a candidate fielded by a Jharkhand-based party. “Priyaranjan Paswan gave his life to politics. Our candidate’s bodyguard Hiramani Prasad Devi sacrificed himself doing his duty. Our candidate survived…. but my friends, we should reply to bullets through the ballot. Chot ka jawaab vote se dena hai,” said Modi. The PM went on to appeal for peace: “Elections come and go, people win and lose. But we should not defame our political principles…. I appeal to all political parties to say that violence should have no role in our lives.”
In the same vein, Modi asked the Maoists to lay down arms without naming them: “I also want to tell our youngsters as a brother that the guns on your shoulders can redden the earth, kill someone’s son. On the other hand, if you had your hand on a plough, you can make the earth go green.” Modi said that it was credit to his party that he was able to be at a panchayat like Chandwa. He said that he had been to adjacent Chatra to campaign for the BJP’s candidate during Lok Sabha elections. “Back then, I was contesting myself, I wanted to win. Still, the crowd was not even half of this. This only means that we are going to win again this time,” he said, to applause.
Modi went on to taunt Hemant Soren without naming him. “There was a chief minister who said he would not let any minister from Delhi enter Ranchi,” the PM said, referring to the JMM’s announcement on August 21. The decision had come after Hemant Soren was booed by the audience at an event attended by the PM. Modi has not apologised as the JMM demanded; after a few weeks of black-flagging, the JMM stopped gheraoing Union Ministers. “They know that once ministers from Delhi come here and look at their record, their wrongdoings would be caught. This time, voters will not let such people enter the Vidhan Sabha in Ranchi,” Modi said.
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