Haridwar: Describing the Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand as “one steeped in corruption”, BJP president Amit Shah today asked the people to dislodge it from power and help the lotus “bloom” in the state.
“With a BJP government at the Centre, it would be ideal if there is a BJP government in the state as well. That would ensure smooth implementation of development schemes conceived for the state by the Centre,” he said sounding the poll bugle from the party’s ‘Shankhnad Rally’ at Rishikul Maidan in Haridwar.
Asking the people to get rid of a “corrupt government embroiled in scams”, Mr Shah said if they were looking for development, they should overthrow it in the 2017 Assembly polls in the state and let the lotus bloom.
Mocking at Congress for accusing BJP of “murdering democracy” in the hill state, Mr Shah urged the people never to forget June 25, the date on which former prime minister Indira Gandhi had declared Emergency and “muzzled the whole nation”.
“You should never forgive those who imposed Emergency and murdered democracy silencing a whole nation and reducing the media to a helpless mouthpiece of those in power,” he said.
Assuring that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “grandiose” plans for Uttarakhand, Mr Shah said it is necessary to have a BJP government in the state to help those plans materialise.
Taking a dig at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for “repeatedly asking” what has the BJP government done in the last two years, he said the party has given the country an “audible” Prime Minister in place of “one who was audible only to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi”.
“You ask us what did we do? My answer is we have given the country a Prime Minister who speaks. You had given the country a PM who could be heard either by you or Soniaji,” he said, adding that the Congress’ also left a legacy of scams worth Rs. 12 lakh crore.
Rolling out a long list of schemes launched by the Modi government, especially for the poor, farmers and women, the BJP president said Mr Gandhi should pose the question to Mr Rawat instead.
“While you (Rahul) relax and beat the heat in a foreign land, you ask us what did we do in two years. You better ask that question to your Harish Rawat whom the whole country saw negotiating a deal to buy back the support of disgruntled MLAs for Rs. 5 crore each,” said Mr Shah referring to the sting CD controversy involving the Uttarakhand Chief Minister.
With his “track record of corruption”, Rawat has no right to remain as the Chief Minister even for a minute, he said, exhorting the people to give BJP a mandate so that Centre’s schemes, including distribution of free LPG connections to five crore poor by 2018, could be achieved in totality.
Responding to senior Congress leader Kamal Nath’s comment on PM Modi’s frequent foreign visits, Mr Shah said former prime minister Manmohan Singh used to go abroad more often than PM Modi but he did it so quietly that no one got a whiff of it.
“The only difference was Manmohanji went abroad silently and came back after reading out his written speech. Sometimes, he would read out a speech in Thailand which was supposed to be delivered in Malaysia whereas, when Modiji visits a country, he attracts international attention and the whole world listens to him,” said Mr Shah.
The BJP chief also lashed out at Congress for opposing the creation of Uttarakhand and said it was the result of BJP’s efforts that the state was carved out of Uttar Pradesh.
Senior party leaders including former chief ministers Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Vijay Bahuguna (who recently defected to BJP), Harak Singh Rawat, BJP state in-charge Shyam Jaju, state BJP chief Ajay Bhatt shared the dais with Mr Shah as a large crowd gathered to listen to him despite section 144 being in force.
Earlier, accompanied by Mr Bhatt, Mr Jaju, Mr Harak Singh Rawat and others, Mr Shah paid obeisance at Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines.