Citing the recent terror attack in neighbouring Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said prosperity and development without security is of little value to a country. Undermining the challenge of terror even for a single moment is an injustice to the country, he said.
Addressing party leaders and eminent citizens at a city hotel after completing a two-and-half hour roadshow and performing Ganga aarti, he said, “Abhi kuch din pehle Sri Lanka mein serial bomb dhamake hue. Uss din Easter tha. Log badi-badi gadiyon me khushi-khushi apne parivar ke saath church aaye they… Bible ka paath padh rahe they. Sapne aur sankalp leke aaye they lekin zinda ghar nahin ja sake. Dhan tha, vaibhav tha, karobar tha, bangla tha, gaadi thi, sab kuch tha. Ek jhatke me sab chala gaya. Atank sab kuch tabah kar gaya. (Few days back, serial bomb blasts hit Sri Lanka on Easter day. People, driving big cars, happily arrived at a church, and were reciting the Bible. They were full of dreams and determination. They had wealth, business, vehicles… but in a moment, everything was lost. Terrorism destroyed it all).”
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“Aap bhi, aapke paas gaadi ho, bangla ho, sab kuch ho, lekin shaam ko bhi jinda ghar laut kar nahi aaoge to kis kaam ka hai (You may have a car, a bungalow and everything else but if you cannot return home safely in the evening, what is the use),” Modi said.
During the 10-year UPA regime, there were terror blasts in Ayodhya, the Sankatmochan temple in Varanasi, and at the Akshardham temple in Delhi, he said, but claimed there were no such attack in any city, religious place and temple, in the past five years due to the efforts of his government. The then government did nothing except engaging in dialogues after each such terror attack, he said.
“Humne unhe bata diya ki naya Bharat sehta aur kehta nahi hai. Na woh sehta hai, na woh kehta hai. Wah aatank ko muh-tod jawab deta hai (We told them that new India neither tolerates nor just speaks. It gives a befitting reply to terror),” the Prime Minister said. Terrorism has been restricted to a very limited area of Jammu and Kashmir, he added.
Modi said the masters of terrorism were isolated and the global forum was not paying heed to Pakistan’s words. “…whom they (Pakistan) considered their own, they have left. The world has effectively stopped funding and assisting them and was firmly backing India,” he said.
“They had martyred 40 of our jawans in Pulwama. So far 42 terrorists have been killed in the same area. This is our style of functioning,” he said, adding, “main desh nahi jhukne dunga (I will not let country down).”
Earlier in the day, wearing a saffron kurta and scarf, Modi kicked off the seven-kilometre road show to the Ashwamedh Ghat after garlanding the statue of Madan Mohan Malviya at the Banaras Hindu University gate.
A huge crowd chanting ‘Vande Mataram’ marched along his cavalcade as he waved at the crowd. A modified chariot with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel, BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey and Union minister and state in-charge JP Nadda followed his cavalcade.
The road show passed through lanes connecting BHU gate to Godowlia via Muslim-dominated areas including Sonarpura, and Madanpura. That ‘nationalism’ was the key campaign issue was clear from the songs played as the cavalcade passed through 100-odd stages erected along the route.