Ridiculing the attitude of Congress-NCP leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said in last five years, his government has given top priority to national security and nationalism. “National security and nationalism were given top priority in last five years of the government’s tenure… Those who kept an evil eye on India’s territory were given a befitting reply,” he said.
Speaking at an election rally for BJP’s Satara Lok Sabha candidate Udayanraje Bhosale and assembly candidate Shivendraje Bhosale in Satara city, Modi said though the government has taken several steps in the interest of national security, the opposition was objecting to the decisions. “It is unfortunate that the opposition was objecting to the steps taken in national interest,” he said.
Stating that Shivaji gave importance to a strong force for national security and his government following the Chhatrapati’s ideals, the Prime Minister said,”In last five years, the government has brought the armed forces on par with the world’s powerful armed forces. Whether it is Navy, army or air force, modern weapons are an integral part of India’s armed forces. For national security and nation integration, the government has taken such decisions which were never taken before, ” he said.
Attacking Congress-NCP, Modi while being effusive in his praise of Apsinghe village, popular as soldiers village, of Satara said, “When Congress-NCP leaders raise questions on the martyrdom of our jawans, Satara feels the big pain. When they object to most advanced Rafale, the nation is hurt badly. When they defame Article 370 and revoluntionaries like Veer Savarkar, the Satara loses its cool.”
Modi said Congress-NCP leaders are not able to undertand the feelings of the people. “They were given a befitting reply during Lok Sabha elections. And now during assembly elections, their condition will become more worse,” he said, adding that people will deliver severe punishment to them.
Modi said Satara was considered as the impregnable fort of NCP but now they are not even ready to contest from the Satara seat. He said Satara seat was with NCP but the party asked Prithviravaj Chavan of the Congress to contest from the seat. “Chavan however refused to contest in view of the ground realities. He then asked Sharad Pawar to contest. But Sharadrao is Sharadrao, he knew in which direction the wind was blowing…,” he said, adding that this was no secret as it was revealed by Prithviraj Chavan himself in an interview. “It reveals the current state of the Congress-NCP,” he said.
Stating that maha-alliance of BJP and Shiv Sena were on a mission to make “Maharashtra more mahan,” Modi said how will those who were themselves divided bring communities in Maharashtra together. “Their politics was based on division and more division and gobbling up commission,” he said.
The PM said following the basic mantra of governance “Subka Saath, Subka Vikas and Subka Vishwas, his governmentt has ensured that every individual and sector become part of the progress.
Modi said in the past in the name of development politics was being played out. “The Congress-NCP government was responsible for the delay in implementing the irrigation projects. It was only after Narendra Modi govt came at the Centre and Devendra Fadnavis in the state, files were opened and the irrigation projects started rolling at brisk pace, “he said.
Earlier, Udayanraje said during Congress-NCP rule, Krishna valley irrigation projects remained pending for years which were sanctioned only by PM Modi, for which the people of Satara are grateful to him. He also backed the decision of the Modi government to scrap Article 370. “The earlier government was a mere spectator as peace in Kashmir remained shattered. But the Modi government has changed all that by scrapping Article 370 which was a historical decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, confusion reigned supreme outside the Sainik school ground in Satara where Prime Minister was to address his first ever election rally. Lakhs, who had turned up to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister, were stranded outside the venue as the police wouldn’t allow them to get in. College students, who had turned up in big numbers and called themselves “Modi fans” like scores of others too had little luck coming their way. “We wanted to hear PM’s and catch a glimpse but because of the shut gates, thats not posible, ” said cresfallen students Pooja and Supriya.
Citing paucity of space, the Satara police closed the two gates of the venue around 2.15 pm. The Prime Minister arrived at 3.45 pm. In between, the crowd jostled, pushed and had heated arguments with the police who blocked entry to the two gates. The young and the old, students and housewives who had turned up from across Satara district and even from districts like Sangli and Kolhpaur to have a “glimpse of of Modi and hear his voice from close quarters” however were sorely left disappointed as the police asked them to leave the venue as there was not enough space to accommodate them. Hundreds of college students, who had only seen the PM on TV, said they wanted to see him up, close and personal but due to poor management of the rally they said they missed a golden opportunity. The missing giant screens, sound system and unending curtains that blocked their view of the stage, rubbed salt into the wounds of “Modi fans.”
Outside the veneue, Satara superintendent of police Narayan Sarangjar told this paper that ground was already full with the crowd and therefore, they cannot allow any more entry. “There is no space inside the venue, ” he said. Another SP P D Jadhav said he estimated the crowd inside the venue to be around seventy-to-eighty thousand. “The figure outside is more than double the inside, ” he said.
Local BJP leaders said those stranded outside could be estimated to be around three to four lakhs. “We had expected a huge turnout, but never thought that it could be this big. This only shows the BJP candidates Udayanraje Bhosale and Shivendraraje Bhosale would win by a massive margin,” said a BJP leader, adding that Satara does not have a big ground to hold lakhs.