Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, while campaigning for his party, BJP, at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hometown Vadnagar in Mehsana Lok Sabha constituency, sought to turn the focus on corruption allegations raised by the Congress against the BJP in the Rafale deal back towards the Opposition party, saying it is chor machaye shor (thieves raising alarm) and thieves who were calling the chowkidar (security guard) chor.
Vadnagar falls under the Mehsana Lok Sabha constituency from where the BJP has declared Shardaben Patel as its candidate. She is the wife of late Anilbhai Patel, who was a minister in in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was chief minister.
Stating that the Congress had been looting the country, Rupani claimed that “RG and AP took money in the helicopter scam”, without taking the names in connection with the Agusta Westland chopper deal.
Before 2014, there were “scams over scams” during the Manmohan Singh government, Rupani said, and branded the Congress as “desh ko besharam bankar lootene vale log (people who shamelessly loot the country). Emphasising his stand that the this election was between chowkidar and chor, Rupani said that “Vadnagar’s son (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is sitting in Delhi as a chowkidar (security guard) and so crores of people have stood up as chowkidars with him.” He added, “The people of this country will decide. This time it is between the honest and the dishonest.”
He said “this country required a chowkidar because the Congress looted the country, and that is why Modiji chose to stand as a chowkidar.”
Referring to criticism about Modi first calling himself a chaiwala (tea seller) and now branding himself a chowkidar, Rupani said, “Last time Modiji said that he sold tea. On the first day (of his prime ministership), he had said ‘I am not a pradhan mantri but a pradhan sevak. But Congress people would ask what a chaiwala can do good for the country.” Hitting out at the Congress, he said, “This chaiwala has been selling tea honestly unlike you who have been selling the country.”
Referring to the 2G telecom scam that surfaced during UPA’s second term, Rupani said, “Rs 1.76 lakh crore scam. You would not know how many zeroes are in it. Then scams like coal scam and helicopter scam. They took kickbacks. Money was given to RG.”
He added, “We will not say more but RG, as we all know who RG is, and AP took money. Everyone knows that.”
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “And on the other side it is Gujarat’s son who says na khaunga dunga na khane dunga (Won’t steal, will not allow others to steal). He (Modi) has no daughter, no son-in-law.”
Reiterating his remarks from his earlier speeches, Rupani said the election was about rashtravad versus parivarwad (nationalism versus nepotism), and that Congress is worried about Robert Vadra. The BJP, which promised in 2014 to take action against Vadra (accused in a real-estate scam) if voted to power, however, has not taken any concrete action against Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law.
Stressing his point, Rupani said, “Modiji has no daughter and no son-in-law (in reference to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her daughter and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi who is married to Robert Vadra).
“Congress cannot see anyone else (as a leader of the party and country) but from their own family,” Rupani said. “Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and now Priyanka Gandhi has come (into politics) and like this many family members would follow suit.”
Besides the issue of dynastic politics, Rupani also said that the elections was about sthirta (stability) and asthirta (instability). He was referring to the Congress party’s decision not to disclose who will be its prime ministerial candidate. “Why do not you declare who your PM would be? We have declared so the people will decide in whose hands the country is safe,” said Rupani. Speaking about the alleged differences between the Opposition’s alliance partners, he said, “Do you want Lalu (Prasad), Mayawati, Mulayam (Singh) dada or Rahul (Gandhi) baba? Everyone wants to be PM, (but) they cannot see eye to eye.”
Again seeking to highlight the contrast between the BJP and the Opposition, he said, “It (the election) is (between) majboori (helplessness) and majbooti (strength). We believe in justice for all, appeasement for none.”
He also said this election was about “terrorists ka safaya karna (eliminating terrorists)”.