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PM Counters Rahul Gandhi’s Delhi Rally Remarks

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PM Narendra Modi today addressed a BJP rally at Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur

Rudrapur (Uttarakhand):

Hitting out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the “prince” of the Opposition party’s “royal family” has declared that the country will be on fire if the BJP returns to power. “They ruled the country for 60 years, but after just 10 years out of power, they are talking about setting the country on fire,” the Prime Minister said in a BJP rally at Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur.

Questioning if this is a “language of democracy”, he asked the people if they would “punish such people”. “Chun chun ke saaf kar do, is bar inko maidan mein mat rehne do (pick them one by one and remove them from the arena),” he said. He said the Congress, with its “Emergency mindset”, no longer believes in democracy. “That’s why they are busy instigating people against the mandate,” the Prime Minister said.

He was responding to Mr Gandhi’s remarks at the joint Opposition rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on Sunday.

Addressing the rally, attended by top leaders of the INDIA bloc, the Congress leader had accused the BJP and the Prime Minister of “fixing” the upcoming Lok Sabha election. “Without EVMs, match-fixing, social media, and pressuring the press, they cannot win more than 180 seats,” he had said.

“If the BJP wins these fixed election and then changes the Constitution, the whole country will be on fire. Mark my words, this country won’t survive,” he said.

Addressing the Rudrapur rally, the Prime Minister said there are two camps facing off in the upcoming polls. “On one side, we are bringing honesty and transparency to the people. On the other, the corrupt and dynasts have ganged up. These corrupt people are abusing and threatening Modi. We are saying, ‘remove corruption’, they are saying, ‘save the corrupt’,” he said.

The remarks come amid a united Opposition charge at the BJP-led Centre over the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering case related to the capital’s now-scrapped liquor policy. The AAP has denied the allegations and accused the Centre of using probe agencies for political objectives.

The Prime Minister said he does not fear threats and abuses and that the “action against every corrupt person will continue”. “At the beginning of our third term, there will be a bigger attack on corruption. I guarantee that,” he said.

In a related development, the BJP has written to the Election Commission, flagging Mr Gandhi’s remark on EVMs and demanding strict action against him.

“He said ‘this is a fixed match’… he also said that the government has its own people in the EC and the elections can’t be won without EVM. He also said that the rights provided by the Indian Constitution are being snatched away,” Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. “Rahul Gandhi’s address at the rally contained inflammatory remarks aimed at sowing seeds of doubt and distrust in the minds of the Indian populace regarding the electoral process and the impartiality of the Election Commission of India,” he added.

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