Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pointed out that he has been the chief minister of Gujarat far longer than the combined tenures of BSP chief Mayawati and her Samajwadi Party (SP) counterpart and alliance partner Akhilesh Yadav.
He also gave an “open challenge” to the Opposition to dig out whether he amassed any undeclared property, got an account abroad, or opened a shopping mall in his name during his tenure as either the chief minister or the Prime Minister.
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Modi appeared to take on Mayawati for her repeated dig at his caste, and without naming any leader said that some people are under the illusion that some castes are their “slaves”, who would do whatever they want, but he has never used his caste to seek votes.
The BSP chief has, on multiple occasions, accused Modi of being a “fake” OBC leader who allegedly included his caste in the backward category during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister.
In Ballia, without naming any leader, Modi said: “In the name of caste, these people got for themselves bungalows, palaces and amassed undeclared property. Their account is being taken by agencies.”
This is the reason, he said, that people who till the other day threw “bhaddi bhaddi galiyan (crude insults)” at each other are forced to form an alliance of “mahamilawat (grand adulteration)”.
He then dared leaders of opposition parties: “Himmat hai to gaali-galauch karne ki bajaye meri iss chunauti ko sweekar karke maidan mein aao. Yeh log dikha de ki maine koi benami sampatti jama ki hai kya, koi farmhouse banaya hai kya, koi shopping complex banaya hai kya, videshi bankon mein paise jama karaye hain kya, videsh mein koi sampatti kharidi hai kya (If you have the courage, stop abusing me and come to the field. Prove whether I have amassed any benami property, built any farmhouse or shopping complex, deposited money in foreign banks or bought property abroad).”
Stating that all partners of this “mahamilawat” — the SP, the BSP and the Congress — are frustrated after six phases of polling, Modi said they are now left with only one job: “Modi ko gaali do, gaali do, gaali do (abuse, abuse, abuse Modi).”
In Buxar, Modi said the General Election this time is about “deciding the future of 21st-century children”, and deciding the speed at which the country will grow.
Without naming any party, he said, “Kuchh Iogon ne samajh liya hai kuchh jaatiyan unki ghulam hai, jaise woh kahenge waise log karenge (some people are under the illusion that certain castes are their slaves, and will do whatever they want).”
Accusing “such people” of getting votes in the name of the poor and then not doing anything for those people, Modi said, “Even though there is no great salary in politics, how do some people make big houses? I have been chief minister of Gujarat for a long time, and the Prime Minister for five years. I have neither spent a moment for myself nor have given time to my relatives”.
In Chandigarh, Modi said, “Every vote of yours should be for the kamal (lotus, the BJP’s poll symbol). Every vote for Kamal will go into Modi’s kitty.”
He asked the crowd, “Kya mujhe aapki bhalai ke liye kaam karna chaye ya nahi? Desh ki bhalai ke liye karna chahiye ya nahi? Uske liye gaali pade to bhi karna chahiye ya nahi? Anap shanap bola jaaye to bhi karna chaeye? (Shouldn’t I work for your, for the nation’s benefit? Shouldn’t I work even if I am abused for that?)”
Besides, he said, the government has installed a sewage treatment plant here, modernised the airport, among others.
Speaking on the Army’s strikes on terrorists, Modi said, “They (Opposition) raised several questions on the surgical strike and the airstrike. It was Modi who adopted the policy of killing terrorists by entering their home (“ghar mein ghuske”). You tell me, is the approach of killing terrorists by entering their homes right or not? Should I do it or not?”
(With inputs from Maulshree Seth in Lucknow)