Lucknow: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday hailed Narendra Modi as the first Prime Minister of independent India who has been able to hold country's head high at the international level and give the message that "we are not a weak nation".
"I want to welcome Modiji here as for the first time in the history of Independent India he has succeeded in holding country's head high at international level. He has succeeded in giving the message to the world that Bharat is not weak but it's a 'damdar' (powerful) nation," Singh said while welcoming Modi's in his parliamentary constituency.
Singh represents Lucknow in the Lok Sabha.
He said Modi has succeeded in checking "wholesale corruption at the top" and should be congratulated for that.
Giving message of following good values, Singh said Ram had, till the last moment, tried to give message of peace but in the end, killed Ravana, "who was synonymous to terror".
Mayor Dinesh Sharma in his speech tried to refute the Opposition allegation that the event was organised for taking political mileage sating that the theme — 'Atank ka samool naash ho' (Let Terrorism be finished entirely) of this year's 'Ravana Dahan' was decided last year.
"We have decided the theme last year. Every year Ramlila has a different theme and it's decided a year in advance. The Ramlila Samiti used to invite presidents, prime ministers and chief ministers every year but no one came. This year also we have sent a routine letter to PM and we came to know that PM has accepted it through news channels," he said.