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Will terror dominate PM Modi’s Dussehra address in Lucknow today?

india Updated: Oct 11, 2016 09:36 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending the Aishbagh Dussehra celebrations in Lucknow this year. (Deepak Gupta / HT Photo )

Terror could be the main topic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Dussehra speech at Aishbagh Ramlila ground in Lucknow on Tuesday.

The build up to Vijayadashami hints towards this, particularly after Modi recently said that this year’s Dussehra was going to be special. Hindus celebrate Dussehra as the victory of good over evil.

A BJP insider said, “Given the occasion, it won’t be surprising if the PM delves on terror because, in a way, Ramleela is also about celebrating the end of terror.”

The anti-terror message strapped to Ravan’s effigy at the Ramlila ground further hints towards this. But even then, the BJP says it has no clue as to how the PM chooses to use the Aishbagh Ramleela stage.

“The PM always prefers to do things in his unique style. We don’t know what he will say on the occasion. It’s a matter of great pride for us that he has chosen to celebrate Dussehra in Lucknow,” said UP BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Since he authorized the army’s surgical strikes on terror camps across the LoC in PoK late last month, the Prime Minister has largely remained silent on the subject.

Modi’s speech would be played up through LED screens that the BJP has installed at strategic intersections in the city.

Tight security arrangements have been made at Aishbagh Ramlila ground to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Deepak Gupta / HT Photo )

Despite widespread public approval of the strikes, the Modi government has of late drawn criticism from some politicians like Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who have accused the PM of engaging in ‘khoon ki dalali’.

While some politicians, including those of the Samajwadi Party, BSP and the Congress have targeted Modi’s visit to Lucknow, BJP vice president Dinesh Sharma who is also the patron of the Aishbagh Ramlila committee, denied any political linkage to his trip.

The BJP feels that political rivals, wary of the fact that the surgical strikes would impact political discourse in poll-bound states, are busy insinuating motives to everything the PM does. “It’s wrong to give a political colour to it,” said Sharma.

The opposition had also come down heavily on the BJP for trying to leverage the military action in poll bound Uttar Pradesh after the appearance of the party’s posters featuring its top brass and a silhouette of a soldier.

First Published: Oct 11, 2016 09:35 IST