Despite the cyclone alert, Prime Minister Narendra Modi continued his campaign in Gujarat and after the cyclone failed to make a landfall in the state he was quick to compare it to Congress party, the big noise which will fail to make its presence in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took a jibe at the Congress party on its claim of winning the Gujarat elections, referring to the “big hullabaloo” about Cyclone Ockhi that was set to hit the state in a big way but did not.
Disregarding the ‘Ockhi’ alert and continuing his scheduled programme of three days’ campaigning, the Prime Minister was here in Dhandhuka, a southern part of Ahmedabad district. Once again he began his speech mentioning the Congress, after reminiscing on his relationship with the place.
Mentioning the alerts about Cyclone Ockhi, he said, “Whatever that makes a big hullabaloo and is said that it is coming, never does”, hinting at the Congress, which has been campaigning in the state and claiming it is going to win the elections. The Cyclone was on Tuesday headed towards Gujarat but on Wednesday it weakened while over the Arabian Sea, sparing the poll-bound state.
The Dhandhuka crowd, many of them comprising children who were made to sit in chairs in order to show a packed crowd, was totally unresponsive to any of Modi’s interactive questions. Some were even seen laughing. Modi’s style of questioning the audience and then getting affirmative answers from them did not seem to be working on them.
Addressing the crowd, Modi said, “We think that the Congress meted out injustice to Sardar Patel, but let me tell you, he was not the only one. Their one family which rules meted out injustice to the maker of the Constitution, Bhimrao Ambedkar and all those who were getting significance in politics. Ambedkar had to go all the way to Bengal to fetch a membership in the constitutional body elections. Congress could not even afford to honour him with the Bharat Ratna. Baba Saheb was never remembered during the entire Congress regime in central government.”
He continued, “We bow to such great leaders. By continuing with the development works in Gujarat, the people of Gujarat should pay respect to the great leader.”
On the Triple Talaq issue, Modi said, “During the oncoming Uttar Pradesh elections, the central government was asked by the Supreme Court to file an affidavit regarding the issue. Many warned me that as the UP elections are coming we cannot risk doing so and many even expected that Modi would buy time from the apex court. But I said, why should I when the question about thousands of our Muslim women is at stake. I don’t care about the elections. The country does not run merely on elections. That issue, which was hanging in the air since the time of Rajiv Gandhi, was cleared by the apex court.”
On the Sunni Waqf Board’s counsel Kapil Sibal asking the court to delay the hearing till the 2019 general elections, Modi said: “When Sibal asked that, the Congress says it is Sibal’s personal and individual issue. I ask you how do the 2019 general elections affect Kapil Sibal personally or the Waqf Board? Is Sunni Waqf Board contesting the elections?”
The Prime Minister also informed the audience about the central government’s drive to make a practical solution of solar pump and how the works were in progress, which could make a farmer’s life easy. He informed them about plans on Dholera, a bustling port in an ancient civilization, and how that would make the entire region heavily laden with richness and prosperity. He said, “I requested umpteen times to the then UPA government for the development of Dholera, but they weren’t interested. Now through our efforts, within 10 years, Dholera would be as prosperous as Mumbai or Rajkot.”
He also accused the Congress of linking the Ram temple issue with the elections. “Now Congress links Ram Mandir with elections. They are least bothered about the nation,” Modi said.
Modi’s remarks came a day after Sibal while representing the Sunni Waqf Board on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to defer hearing in the Ayodhya title suit till July 2019 when the next Lok Sabha elections will be over.
However, the demand was brushed aside by the court as it fixed February 8, 2018, for commencing a final hearing in the case.
The Congress distanced itself from Sibal’s stand saying it does not represent the party’s stand.
Gujarat assembly polls will be held on December 9 and December 14. (IANS)