LUCKNOW: A direct war of words broke out between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while he was campaigning in Uttar Pradesh, and BSP chief Mayawati over Alwar gang-rape case on Sunday. While the PM hit out at the BSP chief for her remarks on the incident and asked her “not to shed crocodile tears” for the victim, the BSP chief shot back by questioning him on his stand over atrocities on Dalits during his tenure as PM.
While addressing a poll rally in Kushinagar on Sunday, PM Modi reacted to Mayawati’s statement over the Alwar case asking her why didn’t she withdraw support to Gehlot government if she was honestly concerned about the plight of the Dalit victim.
“Behenji you will have to answer why didn't you withdraw support to Rajasthan's Congress govt after a Dalit daughter was gang-raped in the state? You are shedding crocodile tears by only making statements,” the PM pointed out. He also took on the Gehlot government accusing it of suppressing the case involving a Dalit woman allegedly owing to Congress’s “hua toh hua” (It happened so it be) mentality repeating the reference to Sam Pitroda’s two-day old remark on 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
READ MORE: Alwar rapists should be hanged: Mayawati
However, responding to PM’s jibe in no time, BSP chief Mayawati said that if appropriate action was not initiated to do justice to the victim, she would take an appropriate political decision. "If proper action is not taken in the Alwar gangrape, I will take an appropriate political decision, " she said. However, she questioned the PM why did he not resign after incidents like Una and Rohit Vemula’s suicide during his tenure as Prime Minister.
The PM addressed two back-to-back rallies at Kushinagar and Deoria parliamentary segments in UP on Sunday.
In Deoria, PM Modi predicted the defeat of the opposition claiming that the people had already taught a lesson to ‘mahamilawati gathbandhan’ and Congress during the last five phases of polling and sixth would consolidate their defeat for their politics driven by self and family interests. “This time people have voted for an effective, stable and strong government which can take tough decision as the need arises in national interest,” he claimed.
Referring to his government’s initiative to take the war on terror to enemy’s territory, he raised doubt on gathbandhan leadership in dealing with terrorism “SP and BSP don’t have the courage to fight terror. They have been soft on it during their respective regimes in UP. Those who could not put a leash on hooligans in the streets, how will they take on terrorists. Tell me who among the leaders of mahamilawati bunch of 21 parties seems capable of dealing with terror strongly,” the PM asked the gathering.
Referring to the encounter in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday morning, the PM hit out at opposition for raising fingers at firing on militants during polls. He wondered in Kushinagar if Indian army jawans would take EC’s permission before opening fire at militants “They were standing in front (of the soldiers) with bombs and guns. Would my soldiers go to the Election Commission to ask for permission to shoot? Opposition kya khel bana rakha hai? (What drama is the opposition enacting)? Since I came to Kashmir, every second or third day, clean-ups take place. This is my clean-up operation,” PM Modi said while campaigning in Kushinagar. Notably, the Shopian encounter took place on Sunday morning during a cordon and search operation in the area located in terror-hit south Kashmir. The election for Jammu and Kashmir's seven seats got over last week.
The PM also attacked Congress for promising to remove sedition clause to give a free run to traitors and ease Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) in J&K. Actually, Congress has reduced to vote katuwa and nothing else. “Congress ne pahley jawan ka sar katwaya (jawan was beheaded during Cong rule), now the party has become 'vote katwa' (vote cutter), he said in Deoria.
Coming down heavily on corruption and caste politics, Modi said the country had had enough of casteist, dynastic and corrupt governments in the past. “Now people want development and resources to make their lives easier. But those who chant 'Remove Modi, Remove Modi' do not have any vision for the nation," said PM Modi in Deoria.
Firing a salvo at gathbandhan leaders for allegedly amassing wealth betraying the poor and deprived of the country, the PM Modi said he had been Gujarat CM more than the terms of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati as Uttar Pradesh chief ministers combined and there was no blot of corruption on him. The PM also targeted the mahagathbandhan for picking up his caste issue saying those who were seeking a caste certificate from him were actually seeking caste certificate from the poor of the country thus heaping insult on them.
“I was born in extremely backward caste. But I am trying to the best of my capabilities to take the nation forward. They should know that my only caste is poverty and it has been my inspiration to work for the emancipation of poor honestly and sincerely,” he averred.