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‘Naamdar’s fatwa’: Modi’s counterstrike on Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ jibe

Rajasthan assembly elections 2018: On Tuesday, speaking in Alwar, Congress president Rahhul Gandhi said that whenever the PM addressed the people, he made them chant ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’, but did anyone know what it meant?

rajasthan elections Updated: Dec 04, 2018 23:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rajasthan assembly elections 2018,Rajasthan polls,Rahul Gandhi
Rajasthan assembly elections 2018: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election rally in Jodhpur.(PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned a stinging barb hurled at him by Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday into ammunition to attack the Congress president, alleging that Rahul Gandhi did not want him to begin his rallies with the salutation of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.

On Tuesday, speaking in Alwar, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that whenever the PM addressed the people, he made them chant ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’, but did anyone know what it meant? “Farmers, youth, women and labourers are our ‘Bharat Mata’. In every speech Mr. Modi says ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, but in reality, he works for Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Anil Ambani,” Rahul said. He said that the PM should refrain from beginning his rallies with “Bharat Mata ki jai”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, said that it is shameful that the Congress leader should say such a thing.

“Congress has come up with a “fatwa” that I should not begin my rallies with “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. How can they deny this? They must be ashamed of even saying such a thing. This shows their disrespect for our motherland,” he said addressing a rally in Sikar in Rajasthan. (Live updates)

Continuing in the same vein, Modi said that when the Indian army conducted its surgical strikes across the border in Pakistan, the Congress party was shocked. He said that the faces of the Congress party leaders had lost all colour.

“When our soldiers returned from the surgical strike, the entire nation was filled with enthusiasm but it seemed as if the Congress was in mourning. Their leader said that the government was lying. They demanded photographic and video proof of the strike. I ask you, did the soldiers go there with guns or with cameras?,” Modi said.

“Pakistan understood what a surgical strike is, but the Congress, which was instrumental in the formation of Pakistan, refused to accept it and still don’t believe it,” Modi said.

Modi cornered Rahul Gandhi on the issue of One Rank One Pension as well.

“Our soldiers had been demanding OROP for the last 40 years. They asked for it during Rajiv Gandhi’s time, during Indira Gandhi’s time, and even when your mother remote controlled the government. But your party did not listen. The Congress did nothing for them. In 2014, the government changed in Delhi. You elected me as prime servant, and we began work on OROP. You’ll be surprised to know that the Congress’s work towards OROP was so sad that it took me 2 years to sort out the calculations and then we implemented OROP to the country’s soldiers. Now, Rs 11,000 crore will be distributed every year among our soldiers under OROP. Should this demand of the soldiers not have been fulfilled earlier? Your vote ensured that OROP is implemented,” he said.

He said that the reason why the Congress did nothing for the soldiers was because the party’s leaders did not respect them. “Why else would a Congress leader refer to the army chief as a roadside goon?,” Modi said referring to a previous incident.

Referring to the controversy ridden Ashok Gehlot government and the Bhanwari Devi case, Modi said the Congress party had given tickets to the relatives of those who are lodged in jail on rape charges and that it should not be allowed to enter Rajasthan for centuries.

First Published: Dec 04, 2018 16:22 IST