BJP president Amit Shah slammed his Congress counterpart Rahul Gandhi for pledging the elimination of the sedition law and rescinding of the controversial Article 370 in party's election manifesto.
Underlining national security as the core issue of the BJP, party chief Amit Shah on Tuesday trained his guns on Rahul Gandhi during a rally in Bihar’s Masaurhi, saying that the Congresschief was free to sing ‘ilu ilu’ with the terrorists, news agency PTI reported.
In an apparent reference to a 1990s Bollywood song, Amit Shah used “Ilu” which is an acronym for “I Love You” and said, “Rahul baba, you are free to croon Ilu Ilu with the terrorists. But under Narendra Modi, every goli (bullet) fired by them will be retaliated with a gola (bomb).”
Shah came down heavily Rahul Gandhi for pledging the elimination of the sedition law and rescinding of the controversial Article 370 in the Congress election manifesto. The contentious article gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also limits the power of the Indian Parliament for lawmaking in the restive state.
Shah also said that PM Modi works 18 hours a day and has done so for the last twenty years without taking a holiday, whereas Congress chief Rahul Gandhi leaves for a foreign holiday whenever the mercury rises.
“The world has started looking at India differently ever since we taught Pakistan sponsored terrorists a lesson by the surgical strike and, recently, the Balakot air strike. We are now considered as being in the same league with the US and Israel,” the BJP chief was quoted as saying by PTI.
While making an appeal to the people to vote for BJP candidate Ram Kripal Yadav on May 19 Shah reiterated the party’s poll plank and said, “On one side, you have the leadership of Narendra Modi who is committed to national security and working tirelessly to improve the lives of ordinary Indians, on the other, you have the alliance whose members are interested only in their dynasty politics.”
Shah also noted that Sanjay Kumar Sinha, one of the 40 CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir on February 14 belonged to Masaurhi and asked the people to vote for the BJP nominee, Ram Kripal Yadav.
“Remember that it was Narendra Modi who ensured that Sanjay Kumar Sinha’s sacrifice didn’t go in vain and made the people behind the barbarous attack pay the price of it. The vote that you will cast in favour of Ram Kripal Yadav, will help Narendra Modi,” Shah said.
As the 2019 Lok Sabha elections come to a close on May 19 with the counting of the votes scheduled on May 23, both the BJP and the Congress have been exchanging barbs. While the ruling BJP underlines national security as an election issue, the Congress and its allies have raised questions on regional issues and also attacked the prime minister for not putting businessmen such as Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksy Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi in jail.
Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat
Located in Bihar’s Patna, Masaurhi comes under Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat which has BJP candidate Ram Kripal Yadav as the sitting MP. Ram Kripal Yadav had beaten Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter Misa Bharti in 2014 general elections.
With the Patna Sahib seat going to rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha who is now the Congress candidate, Misa Bharti will be challenging Ram Kripal Yadav this year too.
It is to be noted that the Patliputra MP was earlier a close aid of RJD President and former Chief Minister of Bihar Lalu Yadav, however, he quit the party after being denied poll ticket and joined the saffron party in 2014.
In the last general elections, Pataliputra Lok Sabha had 16.5 lakh electorate. These included 5 lakh Yadavs, 4.5 lakh Bhumihars Brahman along with the 3 lakh Kurmi voters, as per a 2014 report.