MASAURHI(BIHAR): Narendra Modi has been working 18 hours a day for around two decades without taking leave, while Congress president Rahul Gandhi dashes off to undisclosed foreign destinations at the slightest discomfort, BJP president Amit Shah claimed here on Tuesday.
Alleging that Gandhi is in love with the terrorists, he asserted that under Prime Minister Modi, their every 'goli' (bullet) will be retaliated with a 'gola' (mortar shell). "I have known Modi for a long time. For the past 20 years, he has not taken a leave. He works 18 hours a day for the people," Shah told an election rally at Masaurhi that falls under Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat.
Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 till 2014, the year he became the prime minister. "We also have Rahul Baba. Whenever the mercury rises a bit, he runs away to some country of his choice, often leaving even his mother wondering where his son is," Shah claimed.
He flayed Gandhi for promising abolition of the sedition law and abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in the Congress' poll manifesto. The Article grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and limits Parliament's power to make laws concerning the state. nShah said, "Rahul baba, you are free to croon Ilu Ilu with the terrorists. But under Narendra Modi, every goli fired by them will be retaliated with a gola."
"Ilu" is an acronym for "I Love You" popularized by a Bollywood song in the 1990s. "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 president claimed.
Urging the people to support BJP nominee Ram Kripal Yadav in the May 19 poll, Shah said, "On the one hand 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 hand, you have an alliance whose members are interested only in their dynasties."
Shah also remembered Sanjay Kumar Sinha, one of the 40 CRPF jawans who were killed in terror attack at Pulwama in Kashmir on February 14. He was a resident of Masaurhi. "Please remember that it was Modi who ensured that Sinha's sacrifice did not go in vain and made the perpetrators of the dastardly attack pay the price. The vote that you will cast in favour of Ram Kripal Yadav, will help Modi," he said.
Comprising mostly rural areas of Patna district, Pataliputra is currently represented by Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav whose re-election bid is being challenged by Lalu Prasad's eldest daughter and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti.
Formed after the 2008 delimitation, the seat has become a prestige issue for the family of the jailed RJD supremo, who had himself lost it to JD(U)'s Ranjan Yadav in 2009 followed by Bharti's defeat at the hands of Ram Kripal Yadav in 2014. Both Ram Kripal Yadav who joined the BJP ahead of the last general elections, and Ranjan Yadav had previously been close aides of Lalu Prasad.