LUCKNOW: Just ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday tried to breach the Gandhi citadel by giving a development push to Amethi, the high profile parliamentary
constituency of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi who has been representing it in Lok Sabha for three consecutive terms since 2004.
It was PM Modi's first visit to Amethi after coming to power in 2014, in the constituency which has remained loyal to the Gandhi family for decades after decades. PM Modi previously visited Amethi on
May 5, 2014 and the BJP, which had fielded party leader Smriti Irani against the Congress chief in 2014 general election. Though she lost the seat but made an impact by shrinking the victory margin of Rahul Gandhi considerably from 3 lakhs in 2009 to one lakh in 2014. Irani has been nurturing the constituency since and is tipped off to be the BJP candidate against Rahul Gandhi once again in 2019.
While dedicating the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited’s venture worth Rs 12000 crore for manufacturing the ultra-modern iconic assault rifles of Automatic Kalashnikov series – AK-203—at Kaurva ordinance factory in Amethi, the PM charged the previous Congress-led UPA government ignoring very basic requirements of the armed forces. He rather claimed that the Indo-Russian venture it would not only prosper the armoury of defence forces by adding 7.5 lakh AK-203 to it but would also consolidate the economy as it would be exported too.
However, he launched a major offensive against Congress chief by accusing him of neglecting the concerns of the forces and breaking the promises made to the people of Amethi.
“Our forces will now use rifles made in Amethi. Even Amethi will get a new identity.,” said the PM. He claimed the work in the ordinance factory at Kaurava should have started 8-9 years ago. “Our forces had then made a request to the govt mentioning their needs. This was the reason this factory was sanctioned. The foundation was laid by your MP in 2007 and a promise was made to make it functional by 2010. But he could neither identify land for the factory nor could even decide on the arms to
be manufactured here,” maintained the PM. He added that at the time of laying foundation, Rahul Gandhi had promised jobs to 1500 youths but ended up giving only to 200. He then continued his onslaught by saying some people roamed all over the world saying ‘Made in Ujjain, Made in Indore’, etc. “But we have turned ‘Made in Amethi’ into a reality,” he said.
PM Modi mentioned Rafale deal to substantiate his claim of negligence of Congress governments towards armed forces. “They sat on Rafale fighter jet deal for years and then pushed it to the back burner deliberately as they could not extract their share of kickbacks from it,” claimed the PM accusing the Congress chief of now spearheading a fake campaign against the deal as the first aircraft was set to arrive in a few months.
He said people should be reminded how the government delayed acquisition of bulletproof jackets for our forces. “Between 2009 to 2014 -- bulletproof jackets were not purchased for our jawans. But our government took the initiative. 2,30,000 bulletproof jackets for the forces have been bought only by our government,” he stated.
Flanked by UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Defence minister Nirmala Sithraman and Union textile minister Smriti Irani, the PM accorded credit for bringing a number of development projects on ground in Amethi to Irani.
“Those who voted for us and those who did not, all belong to us. They all are our own people,” said Modi at the outset striking an emotional connect with the cheering crowd. Claiming that the BJP leaders had worked harder for the people of Amethi than their elected MP, PM Modi took the dynasty jibe saying it was the legacy of ‘certain families’ to forget the electorate after getting the votes. “So that
they can always cash in on the slogan of ‘garibi hatao’ and win elections after elections with no sensitivity towards the poor and deprived,” he added. He also mentioned the annoyance of the farmers of Amethi against Rahul Gandhi.
Earlier, the PM launched and laid foundation stones of 17 development projects in Amethi relating to power, education, health and manufacturing sectors worth Rs 538 crore. UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Smriti Irani also addressed the people of Amethi.