Lashing out at opposition parties that claimed EVMs were being manipulated, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the ‘mahamilawatis’ have realized they stand no chance after three phases of elections and are looking for excuses to defend their poor show. Addressing a rally in Lohardaga, Modi said the opposition parties have no option left but to accept defeat.
At a press meet Tuesday, leaders of several major opposition parties raised doubt over the credibility of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), renewing their demand that 50 per cent of the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips be matched with the EVM results before declaration of election results.
“Just like a child who makes excuses to justify his underperformance in exams, opposition parties have started directing their anger on the EVMs and the voting process for their shortcomings. The response in first three phases of polls has left the opposition with no option but to accept defeat,” he said.
Hitting out at the Congress, the prime minister said the “party that ended up shedding tears when Pakistan threatened India” is eyeing the seat of power in Delhi.
In a scathing attack on Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy for his alleged remark on the armed forces, Modi said those who believe that the poor join the army to make ends meet should drown to death.
“Such comments are demoralising for the army. It takes a lot of courage to fight on the border. Those that say that only the poor join the army to make ends meet should drown to death,” he asserted.
Insisting that Indians everywhere were the responsibility of the ‘chowkidaar’ (watchman), the PM said he never discriminated people on the lines of religion or caste.
“When 46 nurses were held captive in Iraq, we did our best to get our daughters back. When Kolkata’s Judith D’Souza was kidnapped in Afghanistan, we rescued her. This chowkidaar is always concerned about the safety of the country’s daughters,” he claimed.
Noting that Maoist menace in the country has reduced to a “large extent” under the BJP rule, he said youth are shunning violence to join the mainstream.
“It is because of the efforts of the BJP government, naxalites have found their strongholds shrinking. The tribal youths in the Maoist-hit areas are now shunning violence and coming forward to work for the development of the country.
“Under the District Mineral Development Act, we have allotted Rs 4,000 crore for the development of tribal areas in Jharkhand. I will not let the corrupt touch your land, forest and resources,” he stated.
Referring to Sunday’s terrorist attack in neighbouring Sri Lanka, Modi said India too had faced similar tragedies before his government came to power.
“What happened in Sri Lanka is very unfortunate.
India, too, had gone through similar phases before 2014. But after we came to power, the situation changed. Terrorists are now aware that this chowkidaar will locate them, no matter where they hide,” he said.
Expressing gratitude to the people of Jharkhand, who turned up in large numbers for Tuesday’s roadshow in the state capital, Modi said, “The response that I received in Ranchi was overwhelming. I was touched. It wasn’t a planned programme. The state unit of BJP requested me for the show only two days ago.”