Rohaniya: Denied permission to hold a rally at a venue of its choice in Varanasi, Narendra Modi on Thursday launched a sharp attack on the Election Commission accusing it of working under pressure.
Modi alleged the cancellation of his rally in Varanasi was a result of "match-fixing" by the mother-son government, an apparent reference to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Addressing a rally at a place about 12 kilometers away from Varanasi, from where Modi is fighting Lok Sabha polls, BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate said they have raked up security concerns to get his rallies cancelled. Even if there were security risks for him in rallies in Varanasi, then "can`t this mother-son government at the Centre give security to one person"? he said.
Modi took a jibe at the local administration and election authorities, saying the talk of security risks can`t be believed as there appeared no such risks in Rohaniya which is just 12km away.
He also claimed "union Home and Finance Ministers have themselves said that there was no security threat to Modi".
BJP wanted to hold the rally at Beniabagh locality in the heart of Varanasi while Rohania is a rural assembly constituency outside main Varanasi city but within the Lok Sabha constituency. Both the areas have sizable population of Muslims.
Modi said the "Election Comnmission should do introspection. I don`t know under whose pressure they are working".
"My speech is not so important because people will get my message even through my silence," he said. He said the government need not worry about his security as he was ready to die for his country.
"Still, it is an attack on my democratic rights. Should I not get rights that every other candidate is entitled to? "I have been denied permission to meet mother Ganga too," he said while promising to come back for Ganga pujan soon.
Modi alleged he was being targetted for the last 14 years and even CBI has been let loose after him.
Modi said he wanted more rallies in Kashi area but was denied permission. He asked the people to ensure that a strong government is put in place at the Centre and not something like the "government on mother-son oxygen" or some "remote control" government.
Invoking freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose`s slogan "you give me blood, I will give you freedom", Modi said he wanted the people to give him a strong government by voting for BJP and its allies and promised to give a "strong India".
He claimed non-BJP parties have already accepted defeat in the Lok Sabha polls and were getting rattled now. "They used to complain earlier that no one knows who is Modi. One day I told them that I used to sell tea in trains. They couldn`t believe that. Now, they are after knowing my caste.
"I will prefer to die but I won`t do caste politics," he said. On the pollution in river Ganga, he said Sabarmati has changed life in Gujarat and so can the river in Varanasi and it can`t be left dirty.
Claiming an old relationship with Kashi, Modi said he has come here with development as the single-point agenda. Classifying the country`s western and eastern parts as two contrasts, Modi said the areas in the West were well developed but the parts of the East, including Poorvanchal, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam and North East were left "weak".
Promising to work for growth of weak areas, Modi said he wanted to work for the people rather than wasting time in mud-slinging.
He credited the people of Benaras with the growth of Surat silk industry and said he can ensure that Benaras weavers should also get their rightful recognition in markets across the world.
Modi gave an example of having worked for kite-making business in Gujarat. He said he had ordered a study on this soon after becoming chief minister in 2001, based on whose recommendations poor Muslims in this business saw their turnover grow from Rs 60-70 crore to over Rs 700 crore.
"I want to make Kashi a spiritual and tourism hub. I want a situation when everyone thinks that its a must to come to Kashi," he said.