Vote for BJP is a vote in favour of patriots, says Amit Shah

The Union Home Minister targeted Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar and Rahul Gandhi for ‘insulting’ Lord Rama by skipping the Ayodhya Ram temple consecration

April 24, 2024 11:49 pm | Updated April 25, 2024 03:01 am IST - Pune

Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a public meeting in support of BJP candidate Navneet Rana in Amaravati on Wednesday

Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a public meeting in support of BJP candidate Navneet Rana in Amaravati on Wednesday | Photo Credit: PTI

Alluding to the opposition INDIA bloc and Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) as “anti-nationals” allegedly bent upon perpetuating dynastic politics, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said votes for the ruling BJP translated into votes for patriots.

Addressing a public meeting in Amravati, Mr. Shah slammed the Congress for having kept the Ram Janmabhoomi issue hanging for 70 years and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi swiftly resolved the matter after coming to power.

“Your vote will go in favour of patriots and not anti-nationals. It will be in favour of those who want to establish a Ram Rajya and against those who indulge in dynastic politics. Every vote in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go towards ending the scourge of terrorism and Naxalism in the country and making India the third largest economy in the world,” Mr. Shah said.

The BJP leader targeted Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP (SP) president Sharad Pawar and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for ‘insulting’ Lord Rama by skipping the Ayodhya Ram temple consecration ceremony despite being invited.

“Uddhav Thackeray was invited for the Ram temple consecration ceremony, but the leader of the phoney Shiv Sena did not attend the event. Sharad Pawar was also invited but skipped it by citing medical reasons. Yet now, he is visiting places while campaigning for elections,” he said.

Mr. Shah demanded that Mr. Pawar, who was the Union Agriculture Minister in the Congress-led UPA government, ought to seek forgiveness from the families of thousands of farmers from the Vidarbha region who had taken their lives. “Despite being the Agriculture Minister for several years, Mr. Pawar did not do anything to improve the irrigation facilities in Vidarbha,” said Mr. Shah.

He also attacked Mr. Thackeray for reportedly doing nothing to solve the murder of Amravati-based veterinary pharmacist Umesh Kolhe. Mr. Kolhe was killed in July 2022 for forwarding a WhatsApp message in support of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who had attracted widespread censure for her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad. Several people had been arrested in connection with the case.

“Mr. Thackeray has given up all ideals of [late Sena founder] Balasaheb Thackeray, while current Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is taking them forward. We have our government in Maharashtra. Now, no Umesh can be killed in the State. No one can dare to do so,” Mr. Shah said.

The Union Home Minister was campaigning for Navneet Rana, the BJP’s candidate for the Amravati Lok Sabha seat that goes to polls in the second phase on April 26.

Mr. Pawar hit out at Mr. Modi and the BJP at a rally in Solapur’s Madha. Accusing the Prime Minister of not having fulfilled any of the assurances he gave in 2014, Mr. Pawar said, “ Mr. Modi had given assurances of controlling price rise within the first 50 days of his government’s tenure. And yet, petrol prices, which stood at Rs. 71 per litre before 2014, have now shot to Rs. 106 per litre. The price of a gas cylinder, which was Rs. 410 before 2014, now stands at Rs. 1,160.”

He castigated Mr. Modi for the soaring unemployment and said election rallies were not for launching ad hominem attacks on opponents but ought to focus on solving people’s problems.

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