Ghaziabad/Kurukshetra/Gurgaon, April 3 :
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Thursday accused the Congress of trying to polarise voters on communal lines.
The Gujarat chief minister, who addressed public meetings in Delhi’s satellite towns of Ghaziabad and Gurgaon, and nearby Kurukshetra in Haryana as a part of his Bharat Vijay rallies, also said the secularism plank of the Congress will fail to woo voters this time.
“The game of secularism is over. So Congress leaders are taking the route of communalism to get votes,” Modi said in an apparent reference to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid.
Gandhi reportedly asked Bukhari to ensure that “secular” votes do not split in the Lok Sabha elections.
Modi expressed surprise that the Election Commission has not taken notice of the incident despite news channels running the Sonia-Imam meet story since Wednesday.
“Why has the Election Commission not issued any suo motu notice?” Modi asked in Ghaziabad.
He said the BJP stood for unity and development whereas the Congress believed in “divide and rule”.
“For us, secularism means every community is our own. For the Congress, secularism is just an election plank.”
“The Congress refutes my talk on development by raking in secularism. They know they are going to lose,” Modi said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded former Indian Army chief, General V.K. Singh, in Ghaziabad.
Later, speaking in Gurgaon, Modi remembered Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on his birth centenary on Thursday, and said he would have been pained to see the condition of the country.
“I salute Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on his birth centenary. If he were alive today to see what the government in Delhi is doing, he would have been pained,” Modi said.
“This government, steeped in vote-bank politics, wanted a census in the armed forces on the basis of religion. They have divided the people of India, now they want to divide the armed forces,” Modi said.
“When I talk about development, changing India’s fortunes, security for women, they have no answers… When I ask them about employment, security, they divert the discussion to secularism,” he said.
In Kurukshetra, the historic land of the ‘Mahabharata’, the BJP leader emphasised the need to develop tourism in the area.
He urged the people to defeat the Congress.
“You have given 60 years to these people (Congress). You can give me at least 60 months and see. You can do at least this for me,” Modi said.
He also criticised Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra, without naming him.
“I had said this country today needs a sentinel. But Shehzade (Rahul Gandhi) said the country does not need one sentinel, it needs more than one billion sentinels. I ask him if your brother-in-law will also be a sentinel?” he asked.