Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing a poll rally in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan on Sunday when he urged voters, in the name of the recent Sri Lanka terror attacks, to vote for the BJP.
After he spoke at length about achievements of his government’s schemes and the failures of the Congress, Modi went on to condemn the eight bomb blasts that rocked Sri Lanka and took over 290 lives and left hundreds more injured on Sunday, on the festival of Easter.
“My condolences to people who have lost loved ones who were in prayer on this holy festival,” he said, before making a case for his party to eradicate terror. “When you all go to vote and press the button next to the lotus, bear in mind that you are pressing the button to destroy terrorism. There is power in your vote. When you vote for the lotus, I will get the strength to fight against terror.”
He prefaced the poll plea by saying that hundreds of innocents had died as they prayed. “These blasts happened in churches, hotels. World over, the holy festival of Easter is being celebrated, remembering Jesus Christ’s message of peace. Innocent people were praying in churches for Easter when these terrorists killed hundreds of children, sisters, mothers and brothers. How terrible terrorism is – every day, in some place in the world, the earth bathed in blood. Today, whatever is happening in Sri Lanka… India is standing with the country. In this difficult time, India is ready to do whatever it can to help Sri Lanka,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Modi also asked if the people wanted a "mazboot sarkar" (strong government) or "majboor sarkar" (resigned government); if they wanted an India which can give a befitting reply to Pakistan or an India which sits quiet; if they wanted a government which can make the country stronger or keep it weak.
The Prime Minister also asked new voters to press BJP's symbol ‘lotus’ to build a new India, mentioning the NDA's drive against poverty, illiteracy, black money, corruption, and disease.
Listing flagship schemes like the PM Ujjawala Yojana, the Saubhagya Yojana, the Jan-Dhan scheme, the Mudra Yojana, and the toilet construction scheme, Modi said, "We started many ambitious projects and ensured they reached their end point, unlike the former government which did not know how to finish projects successfully."
Attacking the Congress, he said that had it been honest, it could have done much but only did "vote bank politics" and continued to lie to people and cheat them. He then asked if farmers' loans have been waived in 10 days, as promised by the Congress government. "This is the lie (that the farmer loans have been waived) being spread all across Rajasthan," he added.
"Since the last seven decades, they have been lying to people. They have just three facts to their credit - they stand for a 'Namdaar' family (dynasty), bhrashtaachaar (corruption) and jhoote waadon ki bharmaar (slew of false promises)," he said.
Modi promised that his next government, if voted back, will set up a 'Jal Shakti Mantralaya' to work for smooth supply of water in areas with scanty supply.
"In next five years, we will work on water, Jal Shakti ministry will be coming up which will ensure that rainwater reaches dry areas via new techniques," he said.
He also accused Congress of sharing water, meant for Indians, with Pakistan. "Congress took your vote but your water was being sent to Pakistan. You were thirsty but Congress was worried about quenching Pakistan's thirst," he said. "Now, BJP has started a new dam project on water flowing towards Pakistan and with this dam, you shall have water of your share," he added.
Polling for the Lok Sabha elections is underway in India, with the fourth phase happening on Tuesday. Rajasthan, where Modi’s rally was held, will vote in two phases on April 29 and May 6.
(with IANS inputs)