Modi himself is leading the saffron party to corner maximum number of seats in the state, from where BJP had in 2014 managed only one seat of Union Minister Jual Oram from Sundargarh while BJD had bagged the rest 20.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday that past governments did not had the courage to cross the border and kill terrorists, and hit out at Congress saying while the “chowkidar” showed guts to hit terrorist safe havens inside Pakistan, the grand old party wants to dilute powers of the armed forces. He also accused the Congress of always using poverty as a major political weapon and said the best remedy to eradicate poverty was to do away with that party. With Odisha all set to witness state poll with the general election in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29, Modi also made a scathing attack at the BJD government charging it with lacking “sahi niti & sahi niyat” (right policies or intention) for the development and urged people to elect a BJP government in the state for faster growth through double engine.
The PM addressed election rallies in Sundargarh and Sonepur in western Odisha where voting for simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls will take place in second phase on April 18. With a total of 21 Lok Sabha constituencies,Odisha holds importance in the ongoing Parliamentary election. Modi himself is leading the saffron party to corner maximum number of seats in the state, from where BJP had in 2014 managed only one seat of Union Minister Jual Oram from Sundargarh while BJD had bagged the rest 20. The BJP is also making efforts to gain power in Odisha ending 19 years of BJD rule and on several occasions saffron party leaders have claimed to repeat Tripura in Odisha. BJP had ended 25 years of uninterrupted CPI(M) regime in Tripura last year and set up its own government. Coming down heavily on Congress, Modi accused the grand old party of using poverty as a tool for politics and hatching a conspiracy to break the backbone of middle-class in the country by burdening them with heavy taxes through schemes proposed in its manifesto.
“I want to tell you about another conspiracy of Congress to rob the assistance meant for the poor. Congress wants to implement such policies which will double the prices of essential items including rice and wheat available through PDS,” Modi said. “Will it be good for the country to break the backbone of the middle class by burdening them with taxes,” Modi said. “The Congress has all along been reaping political benefits by employing poverty as a major weapon. Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the Congress exists,” he said. Giving a call for “Congress hathao”, he said poverty will disappear on its own if the Congress is removed. Noting that the Congress only gave slogans for eradication of poverty for generations but never took any step to ensure it, Modi said poor people have turned poorer and their leaders and ministers became richer. The Congress as well as the BJD used poverty for politics for which a major part of the country and Odisha was in immense poverty for decades. As a result, Maoists are taking advantage of the situation, Modi said.
Hitting out at Congress over national security, the prime minister said “The chowkidar is fighting terrorists, while the Congress is working to dilute the powers of the armed forces.” He was apparently referring to Congress plan to review the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. “There were governments in the past too, but they could never think of undertaking surgical strikes. They did not have the courage to cross the border by aircraft and kill terrorists,” the prime minister said apparently referring to Balakot airstrikes. The Congress is trying to protect people who shelter terrorists and Maoists, he alleged.
Modi said people have to decide whether they want to choose an honest and principled government committed to development of all, or a corrupt and unprincipled one. “This time lotus will bloom in Odisha. The BJP will taste victory. I can say with certainty that maximum number of lotuses will bloom in the state,” Modi said. On the 39th foundation day of the BJP, Modi said, “The party was born out of sweat of its workers, not dynasty or money. It came into being and grew manifold with the sweat and labour of its workers.” He said BJP was guided by stalwarts such as Deendayal Upadhyaya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Jagannathrao Joshi, Rajmata Scindia and Murli Manohar Joshi. “I salute every worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP is the biggest democratic organisation in the world. We are now a strong alternative to the Congress and other parties which were born out of it,” he said.