Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday addressed his first poll rally ahead of the Delhi Assembly election scheduled for 8 February and appealed to voters to "shun the politics of hate" and focus on development. Amid sustained nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Modi said that various demonstrations against the contentious law in the National Capital were "politically motivated" and part of a "conspiracy".
"If the protests had been against one law, they would have ended after assurances of the government. But the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress are provoking people. The Constitution and the Tricolour are being kept in front and attention is being diverted from the real conspiracy," Modi said in a rally at Karkardooma. He also accused the Opposition parties of wanting to "break India into pieces".
Claiming that the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Millia Islamia university, and the Seelampur area of Delhi — which have been at the centre of the resistance against the law — were part of a "political experiment" by the Opposition, Modi said, "There is a political design behind all these protests, including Jamia and Shaheen Bagh.
"From time to time, in different cases, the view of courts,the Supreme court is that protests should not bother the common man. The Supreme Court, the high courts have always expressed their displeasure over violence and arson during demonstrations, but they (protesters, Opposition) are ignoring the warnings despite claiming to support the Constitution."
Modi also said that the Delhi's citizens were being "inconvenienced" by the Shaheen Bagh protest, where several hundred women have been conducting a sit-in protest since 15 December and have occupied a section of a highway connecting Delhi and Noida in Uttar Pradesh. "We need to stop this anarchy otherwise more roads will get blocked," he said at the rally, according to India Today.
#WATCH PM Modi: Be it Seelampur, Jamia or Shaheen Bagh, protests held over the past several days regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Is this just a coincidence? No. This is an experiment.There is a political design behind this which has plans to destroy harmony in country pic.twitter.com/HBkBem6Spk
— ANI (@ANI) February 3, 2020
Modi also slammed the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi under Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for "blocking" welfare schemes introduced by the Centre, and lauded events such as the Ayodhya verdict, the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Citizenship Amendment Act as achievements of the NDA government.
"Article 370 was abrogated after 70 years, Ayodhya verdict came after 70 years, Kartarpur Sahab corridor was made after 70 years, India-Bangladesh border issue solved after 70 years, CAA was brought in after 70 years, war memorial and police memorial were made after 50-60 years," the prime minister said.
BJP also appointed a Lokpal in India for the first time, Modi said, taking a dig at the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement of which Kejriwal was a part. "People of the country got a Lokpal, but the people of Delhi are still waiting for a Lokpal. There was such a big movement, such tall claims, what happened to them all?" he said.
The prime minister reiterated the BJP's poll pitch regarding the regularisation of the unauthorised colonies in Delhi. Thanking the electorate for voting the BJP into power in all the seven Lok Sabha seats from the National Capital, Modi said that the BJP "had solved" the problems of the unauthorised colonies.
"Despite all the impediments, all the roadblocks, the BJP government at the Centre brought a law in Parliament to legalise the unauthorised colonies in Delhi and ensured ownership of their houses for the living in these colonies," Modi said.
"People who never thought that they will ever be able to get their home registered in their lives, are now seeing their dreams come true. Now, those people have been rid of the fear of the sarkari (government) bulldozer," he added. "When the BJP forms government in Delhi on 11 February, development work in these colonies will be taken up on priority. The BJP will ensure clean drinking water in every household, besides other civic amenities."
However, Modi said, the AAP government has blocked the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme, which aims to provide housing to all the underprivileged sections by 2022. "The current state government doesn’t want to give poor and homeless people a house under the scheme. I feel sad that the scheme is not being implemented in Delhi. As long as AAP is ruling, they will keep putting obstacles in the development for the people of Delhi, they will keep blocking roads. They only know how to do politics. The people of Delhi have suffered for 20 years, now there is only one solution, for the BJP to win in Delhi," he said.
The prime minister also praised the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1 Februrary and said, "The Union Budget that has been presented is going to give direction not only for this year but for this entire decade. The benefit of this Budget will be for the youth of Delhi, traders of Delhi, the middle class, poor and women."
He also detailed the provisions and said that the issues of traders and middle class taxpayers had been addressed in the Budget. "There was a complaint from traders of country, including Delhi, that they face pressure from tax authorities. So we started Indirect Tax Settlement Scheme last year. After this, there was demand that such a scheme be started for Direct Taxes. In this budget, we fulfilled this.
"In this Budget, it has also been taken care that middle-class taxpayers have more money to save. The government has now given the option of a new slab of tax. This slab is also simple and there is no pressure to invest in certain schemes only to save tax," he said.
He also said that the 8 February election will help to "shape the future" of the National Capital. "The upcoming election is not just to vote for a government but to take the development in Delhi to new heights. And who can do this? The BJP who follows through on its promises. The BJP for whom the prosperity of the people is the topmost priority, who believes in positivity and not negativity. For us, the country’s prosperity is the top most priority," he said.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Feb 03, 2020 18:41:57 IST