Ahmedabad: With the BJP’s development plank not generating much enthusiasm in an election bereft of a wave, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Congress of harbouring terrorists when in power and asserted that his government since 2014 had shown extremists their place.
Addressing public meetings in Kheda district and Surat city, where he held a 25km long road show in the evening, Mr Modi said Gujarat had borne the brunt of terrorism for ages. He said the peace-loving people of the state had always wanted to put a stop to such disruptive activities.
The Prime Minister said, “We took tough action against terrorists. But no one can forget that the Congress Government at the Centre used to work towards releasing them.”
Mr Modi went on, “We told them to target terrorism, but the Congress Government targeted Modi. This is why terrorists became fearless and terrorism raised its ugly head in big cities.”
He recalled the Batla House encounter in Delhi and asserted, “Remember, a Congress leader cried for the terrorists.”
The Prime Minister claimed that the Congress saw terrorism only through the prism of votes and appeasement. “Not only the Congress, now there are many such parties which are embracing the shortcuts of appeasement to come to power,” he said.
"Your votes in 2014 changed the scenario. Now terrorists are scared to attack our borders and Indian cities are safe because India now enters the den of terrorists and attacks them. But be it the Congress or other parties doing vote-bank politics, they want to even question our surgical strike," he said.
Explaining the reason to continue to vote for the BJP, the Prime Minister said, “Terrorism has not stopped. The politics of the Congress has also not changed. We have to keep Gujarat safe from the Congress and other such parties.”
On Saturday, BJP chief JP Nadda had promised while releasing the party’s manifesto to set up an “anti-radicalisation cell to identify and eliminate potential threats and dismantle sleeper cells of terrorists and anti-national elements”.
This was a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah recalled the 2002 riots and asserted that “the BJP taught them [rioters] a lesson”. Anti-social elements were being used by Congress governments in the past to further their divisive agenda, Mr Shah had said while addressing election rallies.
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