NEW DELHI: Chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ rang out on Wednesday at a public meeting in the Maya Bazar area of Gosaiganj, Uttar Pradesh, addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he said that his government would destroy terrorism originating from both inside and outside the country.
Modi said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the centre is working to create a “new India" that will pursue terrorists and destroy them.
“Terrorism has not been finished. Our neighbour is exporting terrorism because it’s their main business. Terrorists are waiting for a weak government to be formed in India. We are moving towards a new India that will enter the homes of terrorists to hit them. We will destroy terrorism both inside and outside the country," said Modi at the meeting just outside Ayodhya.
Interestingly, Modi, did not visit the site in Ayodhya where the BJP has promised, in its election manifesto, to construct a Ram temple.
Modi’s visit is significant as Uttar Pradesh is important for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), with the ruling alliance having won 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2014. The BJP hopes to repeat its performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but is up against the combined strength of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on one side and the Congress as a third contender.
Besides, there is a section of BJP leaders and members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliated organizations who want the government to take steps to build a Ram temple at the earliest. Senior leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an affiliate of the RSS, have repeatedly demanded that the government legislate to allow early construction of the temple at the disputed site.
“The NDA government has tried to make the lives of people easy. People must remember that (BSP leader) Mayawati misused the name of Bhim Rao Ambedkar just as the Samajwadi Party misused the name of (the late socialist) Ram Manohar Lohia. They talk about Ambedkar and Lohia but don’t follow their teachings," Modi said.
Senior leaders of the SP-BSP alliance too campaigned in Uttar Pradesh during the day. Mayawati, who addressed a public meeting in Barabanki, accused the BJP leadership of seeking to make political capital from the actions of armed forces. “The borders of the country are not totally secure under the BJP government, as a result of which terror attacks are taking place and several jawans are being martyred. It is most unfortunate that they are anyhow using this for election purposes," Mayawati said.
The BSP chief also accused both the BJP and Congress governments of the past of using investigative agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation, the enforcement directorate, and income tax department against political opponents.
“People have to ensure that neither the BJP nor the Congress... comes to power at the centre," Mayawati said.
PTI contributed to this story.