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PM Modi hits back at ‘Vote Bank Politics’

Gujarat Game Plan

From questioning the congressional surgical strikes to its “soft” approach to terror, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at the party at his rally at Gujarat’s Kheda as he spoke about the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. The move is expected to further bolster nationalism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat’s election battleground, days after it promised an anti-radicalization cell to monitor terror sleeper cells.

The Prime Minister was at Kheda in Gujarat for his 18th meeting for the upcoming elections.

Speaking in Hindi as he attacked the Congress on the anti-terror front, he said Congress leaders were “shedding tears” as the terrorists at Batla House in Delhi were killed in an encounter.

“Our government in Gujarat acted against terrorists, but the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in Delhi was soft on them. They (the Congress) were attacking me instead,” Modi said.

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He referred to the terror attacks then taking place in Gujarat and his government’s actions against the terrorists. The Modi government in Gujarat and the UPA in Delhi were then at odds over several issues such as meeting with Ishrat Jahan and meeting with Sohrabuddin Sheikh in Gujarat.

Modi said Gujarat had long been targeted by terrorists – with bombings in Ahmedabad and Surat. “These perpetrators were convicted a few months ago. Here we rounded up terrorists and dealt with them, but the UPA government in Delhi always made an effort to free the terrorists. We kept saying it was targeted by terrorists, but the Congress government was busy attacking Modi and not terrorists. As a result, terrorism continued to spread and there were explosions in several cities in India. During the meeting with the Batla House, the Congress leaders began to cry in favor of terrorists. Congress sees terror through a prism of vote bank politics,” Modi said.

He said some new parties also believe in shortcuts and follow appeasement and vote bank politics. “Some people don’t feel offended because their voting bank isn’t affected by it. As a result, such political parties remain silent about terror. Some sympathizers also reach the court through the back door to help terrorists. Beware of such celebrations in Gujarat and the country,” Modi said.

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He said the 2014 mandate helped Modi take decisive action against terror – both inside the country and at its borders. “Now we enter the house of terrorists to attack them. But these parties also question the surgical strikes. Congressional politics have not changed and some new minor parties are following suit. Vote bank politics will always be a threat on the terror front. We must protect Gujarat from those who play the terror game. Only BJP’s twin engine government can save country and Gujarat from terror. The youth of Gujarat, who have not seen a curfew in the past 20 years, should also not be allowed to experience bombings.”

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