There is no single village in Rajasthan from where some families have not migrated to Gujarat, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, contrasting the level of development in both States.
Mr. Modi was here to address a meeting to canvass votes for BJP candidate for Sawaimadhopur Diya Kumari, a member of the erstwhile royal family of Jaipur. He also addressed meetings at Alwar, Deeg-Kumher, Bandikui and Dudu, the constituencies where the BJP candidates are locked in a tough fight.
When Diya Kumari called “the future prime minister of India” to the microphone, the audience cheered enthusiastically. Mr. Modi said Diya Kumari’s forefather established this city and I am sure she will bring about sawaya [1.25 times, literally] development here.”
He accused the Congress governments at the Centre and in Rajasthan of suffering from a “divisive mentality.”
Mr. Modi said: “I don’t have to tell the people of Rajasthan about the development in Gujarat... It is the people of Rajasthan living in Gujarat who see Gujarat’s prosperity and beat its drum here when they return. And yet, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says he doesn’t want to learn anything from Gujarat... What is this arrogance... If there is anything to learn from Rajasthan, I will not hesitate to emulate it in Gujarat…”
Praising Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the BJP, he said the State had seen unprecedented development under the BJP government and shaken off its BIMARU tag. (BIMARU is an acronym for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, which are backward States. Odisha was later added to the list.)
“If you want Rajasthan to shed this tag, uproot the Congress government... But that is only half the job... You have to uproot the Congress government at the Centre too,” Mr. Modi said.
As the constituency has a substantial number of Muslim voters (38,000-40,000), Mr. Modi referred to Muslims several times in his speech. “When I say vote-bank politics, I don’t mean Hindus and Muslims.” He only meant the Congress’s focus on a limited number of people. Only 50 per cent of the total number of people cast their votes and “whoever gets half of that number wins, meaning the winning candidate only represents 26 per cent of the total number of people. And the Congress cares for that 26 per cent... in jobs, promotions, building roads, hospitals... it doesn’t care for the 74 per cent.”
“The Shehzada [Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi] says the BJP is a party of thieves. Is that how you speak in a democracy? The media is also scared of the Congress... When TV channels broadcast my August 15 speech, the Congress government served notice on them,” he said. “This is the age of social media... Every person has a phone and can transmit news across the world... but the Congress is trying to ban social media.”
Mr. Modi said the UPA government’s Right to Food Act was aimed at garnering votes. “They [the Congress] are in power in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. If they are genuinely interested in food security, why don’t they implement the Act in these States?”
In Alwar, Mr. Modi accused the Ashok Gehlot government of being in a slumber for a better part of its five-year term and stood out for atrocities on tribals. “We don’t want a government which is active only for five months… We want a government that works for 60 months.”
In “Modi: Vote Congress out and pull Rajasthan out of BIMARU” (Nov. 20, 2013), there was a sentence that read: “Mr. Modi said Diya Kumari’s forefather established this city and I am sure she will bring about sawaya [1.5 times, literally] development here.” It should have been sawaya [1.25 times, literally].