Canvassing for the BJP, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday urged voters to not mix up “petty issues” like civic amenities and development with a “bigger issue” like national security while voting for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He continued his barbed attack at the Congress, calling it “kala panja” (blackened hand) and “darpok” (coward). He even termed the entire Opposition as “choron ka jamaat” (a gathering of thieves).
Speaking at a campaign rally in Anand, where the BJP has fielded a new face in Mitesh Patel, Rupani said, “This time, the election is very different. Every election has a different importance. If it is a municipality election then gutter, roads, light, water and sanitation are the isses to be discussed. If it is an Assembly election, then works in the state, development of the area are the topics of discussion. But the Lok Sabha election is about keeping national interest in mind. I request you all, if you have complaints about light, water, roads, you can settle scores with us during municipality elections. You can ask us for the accounts, and we will give it to you. When it is a matter of the state, keep account of it when we are in an Assembly election, but right now, keep the national interest in mind. If we bring smaller, petty issues then we will miss the bigger, important issue of the welfare of the country.”
Invoking the Uri surgical strikes across the LoC and airstrikes on terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot in the wake of Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF men were killed, Rupani called the Congress “darpok” as “it that had no courage to teach Pakistan a lesson after the 2008 Mumbai attacks”. The chief minister even went on to mimick former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and said, “The speed at which they were talking after the Mumbai attacks, another attack would take place even before they could complete the sentence. They were darpoks (coward).”
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Raising the 2016 sedition case against former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, which is still sub-judice, Rupani said, “I want to ask (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi, why did he go to the JNU to join Kanhaiya Kumar’s shraddhanjali (homage) to Afzal Guru where anti-India slogans were raised. But this Congress wants proof of surgical strike and airstrikes conducted by (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi. They are breaking the morale of the Indian Army.”
“In UPA rule, bombs went off in several cities from Ayodhya to Varanasi to Assam. Rahul Gandhi must explain why no action was taken. You fed biryani to terrorists instead. But Modiji has decided and declared that we will go in to their homes and destroy them,” Rupani added.
He also accused the Congress of helping “illegal Rohingya Muslims to settle in India” and alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was “more worried about Bangladeshis than the country’s jobless youths”.
“We have clearly said in our manifesto that each and every illegal immigrant will be tracked down and sent back to their country,” Rupani said.
Calling PM Modi a chowkidaar “guarding the treasury of Delhi from people with kala panja (blackened hand)” — hand is the poll symbol of the Congress — Rupani said, “The Army is doing chowkidaari (guarding) at the borders, and Narendrabhai’s government is doing chowkidaari in Delhi. Narendrabhai is guarding the treasury of Delhi, which has the hardearned money of people from some ‘kaala panja’ touching it. Narendrabhai says “na khaounga, na khaane dunga (will not steal and not allow others to steal)”… This chowkidaar is fighting corruption”.
In a bid to counter Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s charge of corruption against PM Modi in the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale jet deal in which he has been using the slogan — “chowkidar chor hai (the guard is the thief)” — Rupani said that the Chowkidaar is “pure” and is not a chor (thief). “The Chowkidaar is pure, he is sure, he is imaandar (honest). He has nothing ahead and behind him — no son, no jamai (son-inlaw), no daughter. He is here for 125 crore people, not as prime minister but as the pradhan sevak.”
Terming the opposition parties as “choron ki jamaat (a gathering of thieves)”, Rupani said, “The jamaat of chors in Kolkata help each other raise their hands… they have come together as milawat, mahaghatbandhan, thugbandhan, Alibaba aur chaalis chor. In the last five years, Modi government has shut their shops — be it (Samajwadi Party chief) Akhilesh (Yadav) or his father Mulayam (Singh Yadav), (BSP chief) Mayawati, (Trinamool chief) Mamtaben (Banerjee) or (RJD chief) Lalu Prasad, (Congress chief) Rahul baba (Gandhi). All these people have been crying hoase, ‘Modi hatao’. And Modi is saying, “bhrashtachaar hatao, gareebi hatao (remove corruption and poverty). The people of this country have to decide who they want to remove from the country— brashtachaar and gareebi or Chowkidaar Modi.”
“Today, Delhi is not a city of scams. It is a city where an honest government is working. All the middlemen have been finished,” he said as he hit out at the Congress over the latest ED chargsheet in the Agusta Westland deal and IT raids on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s friends. “There has been a helicopter scam in which all such names have come out — RG, AP. You understand, right? Inquiries are on. Yesterday, several crores were found from people close to Kamal Nath (chief minister of Madhya Pradesh),” he added.
All the 26 Lok Sabha seats of Gujarat will vote in the third phase on April 23.