(Photo by STR / AFP)
(Photo by STR / AFP)

Latur: PM Narendra Modi started his speech in Latur by invoking Tulja Bhavani, Shivacharya Maharaj and Siddheshwar Maharaj. “I prostrate before the land of this State,” said Modi at Ausa on Tuesday.

Over with the homage, he was soon targeting the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders. He began by hitting out at NCP chief Sharad Pawar. “Pawar, it is not befitting for you to stand amidst those you are with. Politics is another issue, but it is not becoming,” said Modi.  On the face of it, Modi was criticising Pawar for siding with the likes of Omar Abdullah who recently called for a separate Prime Minister for J&K.

But, the message to the NCP supremo may be a little more subtle, feel political observers. PM Modi was virtually teasing him for siding with the wrong allies – (read) Congress and Co – and indicating that he should keep his post-poll options open.

Reverting to Kashmir, the PM claimed his government had taken several measures to destroy terrorism. “New India’s policy is to enter the hideouts of terrorists and destroy them. We will not rest until terrorism is wiped out,” he declared. Further, he said, in Jammu & Kashmir, his government has reignited feelings of patriotism. “Now there are fewer acts of terror in this region,” said Modi.

This was the first time that Modi and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had come together for a Maha Yuti rally since the Sena and BJP had contested the elections separately in previous general elections. Others who attended the rally were CM Devendra Fadnavis and union minister Ramdas Athawale.

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