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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Corruption is glue that binds Opposition: PM Modi in Northeast

PM asks people to vote for those who can rid Assam of infiltrators and terrorists

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 30, 2019 23:45 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Moran (Upper Assam)
West Siang: Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated by party supporters during an election rally, ahead of Lok Sabha polls, at Aalo, in West Siang district, Saturday, March 30, 2019.
West Siang: Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated by party supporters during an election rally, ahead of Lok Sabha polls, at Aalo, in West Siang district, Saturday, March 30, 2019.(PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that corruption was the glue that binds opposition parties, singling out the Congress that has alleged wrongdoing in the ₹59,000 crore Rafale jet fighter deal and personally targeted him. Modi also accused the opposition of speaking the language of terrorists.

“Whether their government is in Delhi or Arunachal Pradesh, the Congress is always hand-in-glove with corruption. In this Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), corruption is the Fevicol which binds them,” Modi said.

Modi was speaking at a rally in Aalo, Arunachal Pradesh, where he sought a second term for the state government run by chief minister Pema Khandu. The Prime Minister addressed three election rallies on Saturday in the Northeast -- two in Assam besides the one in Aalo. Five seats in Assam, two Lok Sabha seats and 60 Assembly constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh will vote on April 11, the first phase of polling.

“They are out on bail themselves but abuse chowkidar (watchman),” Modi said, referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who have secured bail in a case of alleged wrongdoing at National Herald, the mouthpiece of the Congress party. “Choose between a neta who does bhalai (welfare) and those who eat malai (cream),” said Modi. At the Polo Ground in Assam’s Moran, Modi said, “It is time to decide whether you want a dumdaar sarkar (strong government) or a daagdar sarkar (tainted government).”

In Assam’s Gohpur, addressing the third rally, the prime minister said: “When you vote on April 11 do remember who can rid Assam of infiltrators and terrorists.”

He refrained from mentioning the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, which has sparked protests across the Northeast over fears of a large-scale influx of illegal immigrants from neighbouring nations. The bill, which sought to allow Indian citizenship to minorities from the Muslim-majority nations of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, is set to lapse after the government failed to present it in the Rajya Sabha following Lok Sabha approval.

Modi referred to surgical strikes by the Indian Army in September 2016 on terror camps across the Line of Control after the Uri terror attack and the air strikes on February 26 on a Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Balakot, Pakistan, in the aftermath of the February 14 Pulwama suicide car bombing . It was the first time that India “entered the homes of terrorists and killed them,” Modi said.

“The achievements which make the entire nation proud, they (opposition parties) get rattled. They speak the same language as terrorists,” PM Modi said in Aalo, apparently referring to questions asked about the death toll in the Balakot strike.

The opposition Congress described the content of Modi’s election speeches as poll gimmicks that would not translate into votes. “People are tired of these speeches and want action. In the past few years, BJP governments at the Centre and in the northeast have indulged in large-scale corruption. People are watching and it would benefit our party,” said Arunachal Pradesh Congress chief Takam Sanjoy.

(With inputs from Utpal Parashar)

First Published: Mar 30, 2019 23:45 IST