The ongoing assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are a fight between the “dynasts” and “diehard nationalists”, which the opposition parties do not understand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
In an apparent reference to the Samajwadi Party, Modi alleged that as the country celebrated three years of the Balakot air strike on February 26, the “dynasts” sought proof of it.
The Prime Minister was addressing a rally in Deoria district when he said: “This time, the election is between ‘Parivarwadis’ (dynasts) and ‘Rashtravadis’ (nationalists). In this election, the Dalits, the oppressed, the backwards and the general class are all united against the ‘Parivarwadis’ and are determined to defeat them.”
Polling in the district, along with others in east Uttar Pradesh, is scheduled to be held in the sixth phase on March 3. Voting for the fifth of the seven-phase election was held on Sunday.
Modi claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pursued “rashtrabhakti (patriotism)” while the opposition focused on “parivarbhakti (dynastic interests).
Referring to the Balakot air strike in 2019, Modi said: “Yesterday, we recalled the Balakot airstrike and the valour of the Indian Air Force which carried out strikes against those who challenged the country, in their own backyard three years back. You remember it, right? Each year on this day, the country is full of pride but some dynasts sitting in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh don’t like it one bit.”
The strike on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan was launched days after 40 CRPF personnel were killed when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into their convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14, 2019.
“Even to this day, these people seek proof from the armed forces, doubting their capability… Hence, Uttar Pradesh needs to be wary of such people,” he said.
Taking a swipe at the Congress, the Prime Minister said that the previous governments led by dynasts kept India dependent on foreign countries for its defence needs but now the priority is self-reliance.
“Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) is the need of all Indians. For decades, these (governments of rival parties) made India rely on foreign countries for defence requirements and destroyed the country’s defence industry. But now, in Uttar Pradesh itself, a defence corridor is coming up,” he said, referring to the state’s defence industrial corridor that has six nodes: Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Jhansi, Chitrakoot and Aligarh.
Modi urged people to rise above barriers of caste and religion, and strengthen the country by making it “aatmanirbhar” (self-reliant). “The present challenging times have a message for the country; of ensuring that India becomes powerful and more self-reliant. It is time to rise above caste and other small issues and to stand one with the country…,” he said.
In another rally in Basti, Modi said the government is working tirelessly to bring back all Indians stuck in Ukraine.
“In difficult times, India has given priority to the lives of every Indian. We have left no stone unturned to rescue our people. The Operation Ganga is underway to bring our sons and daughters back to India from Ukraine,” he said.
“In these tough times it is essential to make the country strong. The people who have been involved in arms deals cannot strengthen the country. The dynasts who support terrorism cannot strength the country,” he added.
Hitting back, Samajwadi Party national spokesperson Abdul Hafiz Gandhi said:
“This election is between ‘jumlavadis’ (those into rhetoric) and ‘vikasvadis’ (those into development). Mr Modi does not realise that people have stopped believing in his words now. He and Mr Yogi (Adityanath) are total failures.”
“The economy is in shambles. The country is going through a crisis of trust deficit. The youths of Uttar Pradesh will bring this present government down. Nobody is happy with this government. People have not forgotten how through privatization, Mr Modi has indirectly decimated the reservation policy,” he added.