‘Congress Attacked Me Instead of Terrorists’: PM Modi Strikes Back at ‘Vote Bank Politics’

Gujarat Gameplan

From the Congress’s questioning of the surgical strikes to its “soft” approach on terror, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at the party at his rally in Kheda in Gujarat, as he spoke about Mumbai’s 26/11 terror attacks. The move is expected to further strengthen the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) pitch of nationalism in the electoral battleground of Gujarat, days after it promised an anti-radicalisation cell to check terror sleeper cells.

The PM was in Kheda in Gujarat for his 18th rally for the upcoming elections.

He spoke in Hindi while attacking the Congress on the anti-terror front and said Congress leaders were “shedding tears” when the terrorists in Batla House in Delhi were killed in an encounter.

“Our government in Gujarat was acting against terrorists, but the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in Delhi was going soft on them. They (Congress) were instead busy attacking me,” Modi said.

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He referred to the terror strikes that then happened in Gujarat and his government’s action against the terrorists. The Modi government in Gujarat and the UPA in Delhi were then at loggerheads over various cases such as the Ishrat Jahan encounter and the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter in Gujarat.

Modi said Gujarat, for a long time, was on target of terrorists – with bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat. “Some months ago, these culprits were convicted. Here, we used to catch and act on terrorists, but the UPA government in Delhi used to put all strength in getting the terrorists freed. We kept saying target terrorists, but the Congress government was busy targeting Modi and not terrorists. The result was terrorism kept expanding and there were blasts in various cities in India. During the Batla house encounter, the Congress leaders started crying in favour of terrorists. The Congress sees terror from a prism of vote bank politics,” Modi said.

He said some new parties also believe in shortcuts and they follow appeasement and vote-bank politics. “Some people don’t get offended as their vote bank does not get affected. Such political parties go silent on terror due to this. Some sympathisers also reach court from the backdoor to help terrorists. Be careful of such parties in Gujarat and the country,” Modi said.

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He said the 2014 mandate helped Modi act against terror decisively — both inside the country and on the borders. “Now we go inside the home of terrorists to attack them. But these parties question the surgical strikes too. The Congress’s politics has not changed and some new small parties are following the same. Vote bank politics will always be a danger on terror front. We have to safeguard Gujarat from those playing the game of terror. Only the double engine government of the BJP can save country and Gujarat against terror. The youth of Gujarat, who have not seen curfew in the past 20 years, must not see bomb blasts too.”

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