Bhavnathpur/Latehar: Making an appeal for a clear mandate in favour of BJP in Maoist-hit Jharkhand, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asked Naxals to shun violence and join the mainstream to strengthen the nation.
Addressing a series of public meetings ahead of the five-phased Assembly elections in the state, starting November 25, he urged the voters to elect a government which works hand-in-hand with the central government to ensure speedy development of the state.
"I appeal to all Maoists to shun violence. China, where Maoism was born, was shedding Maoism and was emerging as a strong nation to compete with the United States. I appeal to Maoists to join the mainstream and help make the country strong," he said.
Singh said one could clearly distinguish between the states governed by BJP and others, maintaining that the states under BJP have progressed well. "One can make a clear comparison anywhere in the country. The country has emerged stronger in the world under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
The Home Minister said, "The country can only grow forward with strong will of its leadership and not with anything else. Under Modi, India has scaled new heights and its prestige has gone up across the world."
He said, "We have not seen this happen ever in the past. This is happening as India has emerged stronger."
On the ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the border, Singh said he had passed on clear instructions to the Border Secutiry Force (BSF) for giving befitting reply to Pakistan and not display white flags anymore as had been done during the previous Congress governments over the years.
By doing so, he said Pakistan has pleaded before the United Nations for its help after India's reply to its firing along the border.
"Pakistan continued to indulge in ceasefire violations in the border killing Indians but the previous Congress governments continued to ask BSF to show white flags and hold talks instead," he said.
"I told BSF not to show white flags anymore and asked the force to give befitting reply to the ceasefire violations. Hit by India's response, Pakistan had to seek refuge before the United Nations. What you need is strong willpower of the leadership," he said.
Recalling former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's
contribution in the formation of the state 14 years ago, the Home Minister said that Jharkhand has not progressed as it should have been.
Despite having rich resources like coal, it was still considered among the backward states, Singh said, promising to take it on the path of speedy progress if BJP is elected to power.
He said neighbouring Chhattisgarh, which has been under BJP rule, has progressed well and that Jharkhand will progress speedily under his party's government.
"Congress has always tried to arm-twist various governments in the state which were dependent on it. That came in way of the state's development.
"Elect a strong and stable government of BJP with two-thirds majority which will work hand-in-hand with the central government to take Jharkhand to greater heights," he told the voters.
He promised that BJP government if elected in the state would waive off interest on loans of farmers and provide them with loans at subsidised rate of two per cent interest for farming and one per cent interest for seeking further education.
Accusing the previous state government of following "wrong" policies, he said, "Under BJP, there will be change in the policies, besides effective running of the state government as also the mining industry."