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Congress Failed To Effectively Deal With Cross-Border Terrorism: PM Modi

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JAMUI (BIHAR), April 4: Accusing the previous Congress governments of failing to effectively deal with cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said this gave rise to the perception that India was a “weak and poor” target.

Addressing an election rally at Jamui, Modi also mocked the INDIA bloc, saying those who used to “demand jail terms for each other in corruption cases” had come together “in the name of fighting against Modi”.

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“The Congress and the RJD (INDIA bloc ally) had given the country such a bad name. The world used to think we are a weak and poor nation. Terrorists from small countries, which are struggling to maintain their supplies of wheat, used to strike at will. The Congress governments did little except seeking intervention from other powerful nations,” the PM alleged.

The acerbic remark was an indirect reference to the US intervention sought by the UPA government after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, which Modi, then the Gujarat chief minister, was highly critical of.

“Ours is an ancient country which has had powerful kingdoms like Magadh and legendary emperors like Chandragupta Maurya. Now, the world beholds a new India, which gives a befitting reply to the enemy on its own soil,” he said.

The Modi government prides itself on the military retaliations to the terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama, which were a major poll plank for the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 general elections.

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“The world watches in amazement as our global standing undergoes a sea change. We are able to defend ourselves. Our advice is sought by the world in important matters. We are the fifth largest economy, have launched a successful lunar mission and were applauded for holding the G20 summit,” he said.

“But, you all are mistaken if you think all this was made possible by Modi. It was made possible by your vote,” said the prime minister, who termed his achievements in the last 10 years as a “trailer”.

Modi also sneered at the opposition INDIA bloc and, in an indirect reference to Delhi partners Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, said “those who used to hurl corruption charges at each other, used to demand jail terms for each other, have come together in the name of fighting Modi”.

“Should the corrupt not be in jail? I say remove the corrupt, they say defeat Modi,” said the PM.

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Modi, who addressed his first election rally in Bihar since the announcement of the polls, also lambasted the Congress-RJD combine for “opposing the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya and continuing to heap scorn on the shrine”.

He also accused the alliance of “opposing” Bharat Ratna to OBC stalwart Karpoori Thakur and election to the President’s post of “dalit” Ram Nath Kovind and “tribal woman” Droupadi Murmu, in an apparent attempt to transcend the BJP’s image of pro-upper castes.

Jamui, a reserved constituency, has been represented twice by Chirag Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), who has shifted base to late father Ram Vilas Paswan’s Hajipur, passing over the mantle to brother-in-law Arun Bharti.

The prime minister, who true to form greeted the people in their local dialect, said in his opening remarks, “I miss the presence of my friend Ram Vilas Paswan who was here with us in the last elections. But, I am glad to see that my little brother Chirag is taking his mission forward”.

Among those present at the rally was Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, also the JD(U) president, who assured the PM that the NDA will win “all 40 seats” in the state, even as he wished the latter a return to power with a 400-plus tally.

In his speech, Modi showered encomiums on Kumar, who returned to the NDA about a couple of months ago.

The prime minister credited the JD(U) leader with turning Bihar around, and also recalled his “unblemished” tenure as railway minister, in contrast with the “scam-tainted” term of arch-rival Lalu Prasad, the RJD president, whom Modi did not mention by name.

“The NDA government thinks in terms of setting up new industries. On the other hand, you have those under whom kidnapping for ransom had become an industry,” alleged Modi, in a reference to the lawlessness that characterised the RJD’s decade-and-a-half rule in Bihar.

“The NDA wants to lighten up every nook and corner with LED bulbs, while the ‘ghamandia’ (arrogant) coalition wants to push you back to the lantern age,” said the PM, referring to the RJD’s poll symbol. (PTI)

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