Lok Sabha poll between India, Pakistan: Vijay Rupanihttps://indianexpress.com/elections/lok-sabha-poll-between-india-pakistan-vijay-rupani-5655606/

Lok Sabha poll between India, Pakistan: Vijay Rupani

Addressing an election meeting of the BJP at Bahumali Bhavan Chowk in Rajkot, Vijay Rupani said that it was shameful that senior Congress leader Sam Pitroda was seeking proof of air raids conducted by the Indian Air Force in Balakot of Pakistan in response to the terrorist attack in Pulwama.

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Chief Minister Vijay Rupani speaks at a public rally on Tuesday. Mohan Kundariya (second from left) filed his nomination for the Rajkot seat after the rally. (Express)

CHIEF MINISTER Vijay Rupani on Tuesday remarked that the ongoing Lok Sabha election is between India and Pakistan and came down heavily on the Congress for “speaking the language of Pakistan”.

Addressing an election meeting of the BJP at Bahumali Bhavan Chowk in Rajkot, Rupani said that it was shameful that senior Congress leader Sam Pitroda was seeking proof of air raids conducted by the Indian Air Force in Balakot of Pakistan in response to the terrorist attack in Pulwama.

“Rahul Gandhi’s guru Sam Pitroda…demanded proof of destruction of the camps in Balakot. But this is exactly the line adopted by Pakistan…Why are Congress leaders are talking in such a language?” he asked, alleging that such statements by Congress leaders had turned the 2019 Lok Sabha poll into an election between India and Pakistan.

“The way (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has taken strong measures of late, Pakistan has realised that what its condition can be if Modi becomes PM for five more years. Therefore, Pakistan wants Congress to win this election and BJP to lose,” he elaborated later.

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In a media interview, Pitroda, chairman of Indian Overseas Congress had said that media in the United States had reported that the Indian airstrikes in Balakot had missed their targets and that he would like to know more about the IAF operation. Pitroda also said that an entire community should not be held responsible for the acts of a few.

Before the public meeting, Rupani held a road show in the city in support of Mohan Kundariya, the sitting BJP MP from Rajkot. Kundariya and Gujarat Water Supply Minister Kunvarji Bavaliya rode in an open jeep with the chief minister. Later, Kundariya filed his nomination papers as BJP candidate for Rajkot parliamentary seat, with the CM accompanying him to the office of the returning officer.

At the public meeting, Rupani also sought to counter the Congress’ charge that the NDA government had released terrorists to end the 1999 hijacking of Air India flight IC-814 to Kandahar. “Congress leaders are blaming us for releasing three terrorists in Kandahar. But it is they…who gave safe passage to 21 terrorists…who laid siege to the Hazratbal mosque in Kashmir…to the other side of the border.”

He also recalled the incident when Kashmir’s former chief minister and PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya was kidnapped on December 8, 1989. “You (Congress) released 11 terrorists (at the time). You released nine terrorists after Congress minister Saifuddin Soz’s daughter was kidnapped. You also released 15 terrorists when Ghulam Nabi Azad’s brother-in-law was abducted. You should give answers for all this also,” Rupani said. He said that while PM Narendra Modi had taken a tough stance against terrorism, Congress had been peddling a soft approach for electoral gains. Click here for more election news

“On the other hand, there is Modi with chest of 56 inch who says we shall enter houses (of terrorists) and kill them,” said Rupani. The BJP will thwart any infiltration bids by those based in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar or Sri Lanka, he said. He also claimed India would be able to compete with China only if Modi was at the helm.

Rupani turned the problem of unemployment and farm crisis, for which the Congress has blamed the Modi government, back on to the opposition party. “For 55 years, you did nothing for the poor. But come election and you start talking about them,” he said. He claimed the Congress did not support farmers with “irrigation water, electricity, fertilisers on time or minimum support price” and blamed the party for the farmers’ suicides.

He claimed that Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi had vowed to eliminate unemployment and poverty but “pushed the poor to the margins”

Rupani also said that the Congress was centered around the Gandhi family. “Congress believes only the Gandhis reserve the right to become PM and therefore it is unable to digest the fact that tea-seller Narendra Modi has become the PM,” he said.

The chief minister0 also brought up the alleged corruption during UPA rule and said India’s image in the world was of a country of the poor and beggars.

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