Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Lucknow: Taking the attacks by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav head-on, BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday launched an efficient counterattack at the government in Uttar Pradesh while addressing the Vijay Shankhnaad Rally in Lucknow.
Lambasting the Samajwadi Party government for using the “slogan of secularism” to hide its failures, Modi mocked Mulayam Singh Yadav saying, “Rather than picking holes in Gujarat, it would have been better for the Netaji (Mulayam) had he talked about what he did for UP”.
Taking a dig on Mulayam Singh Yadav`s secularism chant, Modi said that the Samajwadi Party used it merely to gain votes and remain in power, whereas for the BJP, the country comes first.
Modi said that the leaders were misleading the nation by using secularism as a tool and deviating from the main issues like jobs, water, electricity, price rise, etc.
Also Read: Narendra Modi Lucknow rally: As it happened
“For them secularism is a slogan, for us its an article of faith. Their secularism is about vote bank politics. Ours is about India first. For them it`s power, for us it is Sarva Pantha Sambhav,” said Modi.
Raking up the issue of children`s deaths from cold in Muzaffarngar`s refugee camps in the aftermath of the riots, Modi counterattacked Mulayam, mocking the dance show at Saifai.
“Netaji, don`t take Ram Manohar Lohia`s name again and again. He would be pained by the spectacle of revelry in Saifai and simultaneous deaths of infants in Muzaffarnagar refugee camps,” Modi said.
Further hitting out at Samajwadi Party, Modi said that SP stood for "Samaj Virodhi Party" and that the vote bank politics engineered by the leaders will destroy the country.
Presenting a list of comparisons between Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, Modi asserted that Mulayam should first explain what he did for his state.
“In UP, even 40 percent people have no access to electricity. In Gujarat, 99 percent people have electricity access. There have been more than 20,000 cases of atrocities against women in last one year in UP. There have been 150 riots in UP in last one year while Gujarat is in peace for last ten years,” roared Modi.
Modi also didn`t forget to mention the ridiculously notorious case of SP leader Azam Khan`s buffaloes, which had gone missing.
Modi said that if a minister`s buffalo goes missing, the police are deputed to hunt for them immediately, but no one cares if a mother`s son goes missing.
Modi hailed the humongous crowd that had arrived at the venue, saying that it was a “saffron ocean” of supporters, which implied a BJP wave.
Modi said that by the time of elections, the BJP wave will morph into a tsunami and destroy all other forces.
“..then everyone`s destruction is guaranteed. (Sabka vinash tay hai )- S for SP, B for BSP and Ka for Congress. They will all be exterminated”, said Modi.
Trying to woo the “city of Nawaabs”, Modi quoted former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying that the road to Delhi goes through Lucknow.
“India will be prosperous only if we sow seeds of a prosperous Uttar Pradesh,” Modi added.
Modi`s retorts to Mulayam came as the latter addressed a rally in Allahabad today, calling the Gujarat CM a “killer of humanity” adding that a mere apology was not enough after the mass murder of Muslims in 2002 riots.
“First Muslims are mass murdered then they ask for forgiveness,” Mulayam said.
Also, asserting that Modi`s charisma would not work in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav denounced the so-called Gujarat model of development.
"There is nothing in Gujarat. Experts have said that the most dirty and polluted rivers are in Gujarat," the veteran SP leader said.
With UP being the largest Indian state in terms of number of constituencies, the state holds a special position ahead of General Elections which are due by May.
So no doubt, leaders are vying against each other to woo the maximum number voters from UP and it was Modi`s eighth rally in the state. The politically strategic state of Uttar Pradesh that has a total of 80 Lok Sabha constituencies – today witnessed three major rallies - the BJP`s Vijay Shankhnaad Rally at Lucknow, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal`s rally at Kanpur and Samajpwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh`s rally at Allahabad.