Terming terrorism the biggest threat facing India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said terror factories running in the neighbourhood are waiting for a weak government here.
This is a new India which will strike terrorists in their den, within the border and outside it, he said in an election rally, about 25 km from the temple town of Ayodhya, in which he focussed much of his attention on the dangers of terrorism.
Recalling the Easter Day blasts across Sri Lanka, he said, “We saw what happened in Sri Lanka. The same situation prevailed in our country before 2014. Can we forget the blast in Ayodhya? There were terrorist attacks on a daily basis.”
In the past five years, he asserted, news of such blasts have stopped.
“This doesn’t mean terrorism has stopped. Terrorism factories are running in our neighbourhood. It is an industry there and it is their business. They are waiting for a weak government. They are waiting for a chance,” the prime minister warned.
Cautioning people against terrorism, the prime minister referred to the oft-seen signboards on roads, ‘Savdhani hati, Durghatna ghati (If we lower our guard, there will be a tragedy), and declared, “The game of terrorism is also the same.”
“This is a new India. It doesn’t disturb anyone but also does not spare if someone disturbs us. Be it inside our borders or outside, this new India will hit terrorists in their den and reply to bullets with bullets,” he said in his speech in Hindi, using the words ‘ghar me ghus ke maarenge’ to make his point.
If the country is safe, our aspirations will be fulfilled, Modi said at the rally to mobilise support for BJP candidates Mukut Bihari Verma (Ambedkar Nagar) and Lallu Singh (Ayodhya).
“To keep our culture and country safe, you all should press the lotus button,” he told the crowd.
He also hit out at the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance and the Congress, accusing the parties of being soft on terrorism.
“Their record shows that agencies used to catch terrorists only to be let off for the sake of votes. They want to make a ‘mazboor’ (weak) government. You have to remain alert,” he said.
He told the crowd that their love is his capital and energy and said this was the land of Ram, the land of the country’s pride.
In a scathing attack against the SP and the BSP, he said they had done nothing for the poor and misused the names of Babasaheb Ambedkar and Ram Manohar Lohia.
The prime minister also said his is the only government that thinks of the poor.
“Behenji (BSP supremo Mayawati) used Babasaheb Ambedkar’s name but acted against his ideals. In the same way, the SP took Lohia’s name at every step but sullied the image of the socialist leader,” he said.
Modi accused the SP of destroying the law and order of Uttar Pradesh during its rule.
“They talk about Lohia but do nothing for the poor,” he said, referring to the socialist leader.
Modi asked the gathering whether the SP, BSP and the Congress showed concern about labourers and the poor.
“Is the Samajwadi Party, which talked about Lohia, worried about labourers? Does the BSP, which talked about ‘bahujan’ welfare, show any concern about them. Did the Congress, which gave the slogan of ‘Garibi Hatao’, work for them?” he asked.
Modi alleged the parties used 40 crore labourers as their vote bank by dividing them for “themselves and their family gains”.
Seeking to strike an emotional chord with the voters, Modi said, “No chaiwala, cart puller or vegetable vendor wants his ward to take up his profession. Our government in the past five years worked to make their life better and easy.”
“The BP (blood pressure) of SP-BSP rise when you show your love and affection for me,” Modi said to applause from the crowd.
Highlighting schemes like Ayushman Bharat and pension for poor among others, Modi said, “Our government is concerned for the poor. I have realised the pain of the poor, understood their hardships and felt the trouble.”
Stating that the soul of the country was its cultural heritage and faith, the PM referred to International Yoga Day and the Kumbh Mela and said, “We have tried to propagate our culture in other countries also.”
He also mentioned holding a grand Diwali event in Ayodhya and said various circuits including Ramayana and Buddha circuits have been started to promote tourism and ensure economic growth.