Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said India’s character has never been to attack or occupy even an inch land of another nation but it has taken a resolve to not spare anyone if it is harmed. Mr Singh, who addressed rallies in Sitapur, Bharatpur-Sonhat and Patan Assembly seats in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, also attacked the Congress over corruption and for being a “zero” when it came to carrying out development.
Mr Singh said the menace of Naxalism will be eliminated in the next three to four years and also promised to prohibit forced religious conversion if the Bharatiya Janata Party is voted to power in Chhattisgarh, where the second phase of polls will be held on November 17.
India has emerged as a powerful nation under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with its economy, which is now at fifth place in the world, poised to become the third largest in the next three years behind the United States of America and China, the Defence Minister said at a gathering in Bharatpur.
“India is not a weak nation anymore. Rather, it is a powerful one. Five to six years ago, terrorists intruded into our borders and killed our brave soldiers in the night in a cowardly attack. The PM called a meeting and in 10 minutes a decision was taken,” he said.
He said India carried out a surgical strike to avenge the attack, adding that the nation can, if needed, cross the border to eliminate terror camps.
“It is Bharat’s character that it has never encroached an inch of any other country’s land nor has it attacked any other country. But it is our resolve that ‘hum kisi ko chhedenge nahin, par humein koi chhedega, to hum chhodenge nahin’ (we will never provoke any country, but, if provoked, we will not spare anyone),” Mr Singh asserted.
Hitting out at the Congress government in the state under Bhupesh Baghel for scams and corruption, he said it had not done any developmental work and if a report card of its performance is sought from the public, then the result would be a “zero”.
“They are zero in giving a good government and zero in bringing about development. Despite this, Congress leaders claim they are heroes. They are not heroes, they are zeros. It is time to bid farewell to them (Baghel government) in the polls,” he added.
After the Baghel government came to power, Chhattisgarh has been reeling under corruption, with “tees takka (30 per cent cut)” going directly to the top and the rest getting distributed among those in the lower rungs, Mr Singh alleged.
No one has seen such a corrupt dispensation, he said, adding that they (state government) had done nothing apart from bringing a betting app (a reference to the Mahadev betting app which is being probed for large scale money laundering).
“Mahadevji (Lord Shiva) has now decided this government will go. The CM and his office are facing charges (of involvement) in the betting scam. Despite this, he (Baghel) has not quit his post,” Mr Singh claimed.
Probe agencies will bring out the truth in a few days and the place for those who commit scams will be in jail, the senior BJP leader asserted.
Targeting the Baghel government over alleged scams in liquor trade, coal transportation, public service commission recruitment and others, he alleged it had turned Chhattisgarh into an “ATM” for the Congress party.
Mr Singh sarcastically said the Congress had a “friendly relation” with coal since it had committed a scam based on it when it was in power at the Centre (between 2004 and 2014), adding that “whenever they see coal they blacken their hands and face”.
Left Wing Extremism was brought under control to a great extent in Chhattisgarh under BJP rule (from 2003 to 2018) but it rose again (under Congress rule), Mr Singh said.
“If the BJP comes to power in the state, Naxalism will be eliminated in three to four years,” Mr Singh said.
Mr Singh alleged religious conversion was taking place rampantly in the state under the Congress, which was a matter of great concern.
“Why should anyone be converted by luring them? If the BJP comes to power we will put a ban on such conversions. The day our government will be formed (in Chhattisgarh), we will see who has the guts to indulge in such activities,” Mr Singh asserted.
Attacking the Baghel government over what he claimed was the “collapsed law and order situation”, Mr Singh alleged women from several families had gone missing, while murders were commonplace.
“Human trafficking and drug peddling are on the rise. People of Chhattisgarh are feeling unsafe. It is now necessary to uproot the Congress government in the state. A BJP government will create such an atmosphere that no will dare raise a finger on women,” Mr Singh said.
Asserting that the BJP’s politics was about serving people, Mr Singh said the party always fulfils its promises.
“You can see our party manifesto since 1951 when we started our politics as Jan Sangh. We have done whatever we have said. In 1951, we had promised the day we get a majority in both houses of Parliament, we will remove Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
“Since 1984, we have been saying we will build Ram Mandir in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) and now we are doing it. The ‘pran pratistha’ (idol consecration) of the Ram Temple will take place on January 22. We also banned triple talaq,” he added.
Mr Singh claimed the Baghel government had disrupted the implementation of the Pradhan Mantra Awas Yojana and the Jal Jeevan Mission.
As per survey agencies, the BJP will win around two-third of the 20 seats that went to polls in the first phase on November 7, Mr Singh said and urged people to support the party in the second phase so that it achieves a historical victory.
The BJP has fielded party MP and Union Minister of State Renuka Singh from Bharatpur-Sonhat seat against Congress’ sitting MLA Gulab Kamro.
Ram Kumar Toppo, a former CRPF personnel, is the BJP nominee from the Sitapur seat against state minister Amarjeet Bhagat.
In the high-profile Patan Assembly seat, BJP MP Vijay Baghel is pitted against Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
The results of the Assembly polls will be declared on December 3.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)