• Tuesday, May 21, 2024


If opposition win national polls, there will be riots: India home minister

Amit Shah, who is the second most powerful leader in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party after PM Modi, was speaking at an election rally in the eastern state of Bihar.

Indian home minister Amit Shah waves to the supporters while being garlanded with Nitish Kumar, chief minister of the Bihar state and an ally of his Bharatiya Janata Party, at an election rally in the state’s Katihar on Sunday, April 21, 2024. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN home minister Amit Shah on Sunday (21) charged the Indian National Congress-led opposition with being soft on terror and indifferent towards the uplift of deprived castes, and alleged that their return to power could cause “riots, atrocities and poverty”.

Addressing an election rally in the Katihar Lok Sabha constituency of the eastern state of Bihar less than a week before the second phase of the ongoing national elections, the former BJP president also credited his party with having given the nation, in Narendra Modi, its “first OBC prime minister” who has “put an end” to dynasty politics.

OBC or the Other Backward Class (OBC) is a collective term used by the Indian government to classify castes or social groups that are educationally or socially backward.

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“Modi wiped out Naxalism and reined in terrorism. When the Congress was in power, terrorists struck at will and nobody could muster the courage to retaliate. In contrast, the attacks in Uri and Pulwama were followed quickly by surgical strikes and Balakot airstrikes. Our security personnel went across the border with Pakistan and the terrorists were bumped off in their own hideouts,” said Shah, the second most powerful man in India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party after Modi.

He also slammed Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge for taking exception to raising the issue of abrogation of Article 370 in poll rallies outside the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, saying “it is a matter concerning the whole country”.

“People from Rajasthan and Bihar have shed their blood fighting the insurgency there. Now Kashmir has been fully integrated with the rest of the country,” he said.

In his speech that lasted barely 15 minutes, Shah, who spoke in the presence of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, whose Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) is an ally of the BJP, also dwelt at length on the alleged anti-OBC stance of the Congress, which has sought to reach out to the backward classes with the promise of caste census, besides forming alliances with parties such as Rashtriya Janata Dal, which has a history of involvement in caste-based politics.

“Not only is Modi the first OBC PM, but he also heads a cabinet in which 35 per cent of the ministers come from backward classes. This has all been made possible by the BJP,” said the home minister, who urged voters of Katihar to vote for JD(U) MP Dulal Chandra Goswami and help Modi secure a third consecutive term in office.

“If you go with the RJD and the Congress you will have to contend with riots, atrocities, poverty and food shortage. If you vote for the NDA you will continue to reap the benefits of the double-engine government,” said Shah.

Shah said that Nitish Kumar brought electricity to the remotest of villages in Bihar.

“But the INDI Alliance (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) wants to take the state back to the lantern age,” said the BJP leader, referring to the poll symbol of the RJD.

He also charged the RJD with having ushered in a “jungle raj” in the state while in power and accused its supremo Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav of “sitting in the lap of Congress”.

The home minister also reeled out a number of statistics to highlight the progress made by the country under the Modi government.

(With PTI inputs)

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