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Shah targets opposition, says it is gripped by 'Modi phobia'

Press Trust of India  |  Narsinghpur/Betul/Dewas (MP) 

BJP chief Amit Shah Monday trained his guns at the saffron party's political rivals, saying they were suffering from "Narendra Modi phobia", and sought votes for the ruling party to throw "infiltrators" out of the country.

Addressing a series of rallies ahead of the November 28 Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, where campaigning has picked up momentum, Shah said Congress president Rahul Gandhi was raising a hue and cry over the issue of identification of "infiltrators" in Assam, but ignoring the rights of martyrs.

Speaking at Narsinghpur, he asked the Congress to give an account of what did the four generations of the Nehru-Gandhi family do when they ruled the country.

"The opposition is suffering from Narendra Modi phobia. They just want to get rid of Modi from the prime minister's post, while we want to get rid of poverty, insecurity and air pollution among others," Shah said.

He lauded the Centre for the Army's surgical strikes on terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC) post the Uri terror attack in 2016.

"When the Uri terror attack took place, the entire country was angry. Modi ordered the surgical strikes and made India the third country in the world after the US and Israel to avenge the killings of its soldiers," Shah said.

During the days of former prime minister Manmohan Singh's government, terrorists from Pakistan would sneak into India and escape after carrying out explosions, he added.

At another rally in Betul, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief slammed Gandhi, saying he had created a furore over identification of infiltrators.

"We have done the job of identifying 40 lakh infiltrators in Assam. On this, Rahul and company have raised a lot of hue and cry. They saw in it a violation of their (infiltrators') rights. But they do not care for the rights of the martyred countrymen," he said.

"Should infiltrators be thrown out or not?," he asked the crowd, adding, "Vote for Shivraj (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan) in 2018 and the Modi government in 2019. We we will flush them out completely from Kashmir to Kanyakumari."

"For us, the nation's security comes first," Shah said.

Taking a jibe at Gandhi for the Congress not declaring its chief ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh, he asked, "Who is your commander? Why have you not declared him? How will they do it as they have a raja (king), a maharaja and a tired industrialist."

Shah did not identify the trio, but he was apparently referring to Congress leaders Digvijay Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath respectively.

At Narsinghpur, Shah said the Modi government launched 129 development schemes in four years.

"Give an account of what did the four generations (of the Nehru-Gandhi family) do when they ruled the country," he said, targeting the main opposition party.

"At a recent rally, Rahul Gandhi uttered Modi's name 44 times in his 22-minute speech. I am wondering whether he is campaigning for the BJP or the Congress," Shah said in remarks laced with sarcasm.

He added that under the Manmohan Singh government, the Indian economy was at the ninth position in the world (in terms of size), but after the BJP came to power in 2014, it shot up to the sixth spot.

"By the time the counting of votes for these polls is done, India would have surpassed the UK to become the fifth-largest economy in the world," the BJP chief added.

Speaking at another poll rally at Dewas, he again targeted the Congress, saying the main opposition party was without a leader, policy or principles.

Shah expressed the hope that his party would win over 200 of the 230 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is in power since 2003.

Madhya Pradesh will go to the polls on November 28 and the results will be announced on December 11.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 19 2018. 22:10 IST