Shah said all anti-national elements will end up behind bars once the Modi government returns to power, as he hit out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for what he described as his “temerity” to promise scrapping of the sedition law.
Addressing back-to-back election rallies in Bihar’s Sitamarhi and Saran, which will be voting in the fifth phase of national polls on May 6, Shah drew a contrast between Modi and Gandhi, claiming that the prime minister has been working “tirelessly for the past 20 years” unlike the Congress chief “who needs a prolonged holiday every few months”.
Lambasting the Congress-led UPA for its “inadequate response” to the beheading of Lance Naik Hemraj six years ago, Shah said, “When militants backed by Pakistan dared to attack the Uri army camp, we gave a befitting reply with surgical strikes.”
“They did not learn their lessons and attacked the CRPF convoy in Pulwama. Pakistan massed its troops along the borders thinking that it would protect itself against surgical strikes. But our prime minister showed that he is a man with a 56-inch chest and thus came the air strikes that destroyed the terror hideouts in Balakot,” Shah said amid a huge applause from BJP supporters.
As long as the BJP is in power, all anti-national elements will end up behind bars, he insisted.
“Rahul ‘baba’ has the temerity of saying that if voted to power his party will scrap the sedition law. Let me assure him and his allies, as long as the BJP is in power, anti-national elements will continue ending up behind bars and every bullet fired from terrorists will be retaliated with a mortar shell,” the BJP president said.
He also targeted the Congress and the RJD, which have been alleging that Modi’s claim of belonging to a backward caste was false, asserting that the prime minister understands the pain of the downtrodden.
“The prime minister is not just a ‘pichhda’ but an ‘ati-pichhda’ (EBC) and he has shown his empathy for the downtrodden by granting constitutional status to the OBC Commission, a move that was opposed by the UPA.
“Modi also appointed Bhagwan Lal Sahni of Muzaffarpur district as the chairman of the commission after it earned constitutional status, thereby giving our OBC brothers in Bihar the respect that has always been their due,” he said in a deft play of the caste card.
Shah said no government in the past had the courage to take measures for the economically weak section in the unreserved category.
“It has always been known that in the unreserved category, many were economically weak and needed help. But no government mustered the courage to take action. Our government did and also effected the required constitutional amendments to ensure that the move withstood judicial scrutiny.”
The BJP chief also said that the “jodi” (duo) of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had brought Bihar out of the era of lawlessness, asserting that “things have started moving at an unprecedented speed ever since Modi formed the government at the Centre”.
Shah was accompanied by Sushil Kumar Modi at both the rallies.
At Sitamarhi, where he campaigned for JD(U) candidate Sunil Kumar Pintu, those present on the dais included sitting MP Ram Kumar Sharma, who belonged to the RLSP and stood with the party in its decision to sever ties with the NDA a few months ago, but rebelled and announced his support to the BJP-led coalition after he was denied a ticket by party chief Upendra Kushwaha.
At Saran, those present included sitting MP and BJP national spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy.