PM invokes saint to woo farmers, Dalits

PM invokes saint to  woo farmers, Dalits

In an apparent bid to woo farmers and Dalits, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invoked Dalit saint Ravidas and former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh,  even as he sharpened his attack on the SP-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh.

Addressing an election rally at Bijnore, Modi accused Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of implicating BJP workers in false cases and throwing them into jails. Modi also asked Akhilesh to give an account of the works done by his regime during its tenure in the state.

“I pay my respect to Sant Ravidas, who always worked for the welfare of mankind without any discrimination on caste lines... BJP is the only party that follows the footsteps of Sant Ravidas”, he said.

The prime minister also said that if voted to power in the state, his party would set-up a Charan Singh Kisan Welfare Fund for the farmers.

“We follow the ideals of Charan Singh... Congress had always shown disrespect to him,” Modi said. He charged Akhilesh with letting loose SP ‘goondas’ on his opponents and implicating them in false cases.

The prime minister launched a scathing attack on the Congress-SP alliance and dubbed it “an alliance of two families”.

“It is not an alliance of two parties... it is an alliance of two families — one from Delhi and the other from Saifai (Mulayam’s native village),” he said.

Modi also said that Akhilesh had committed a mistake by joining hands with the Congress. “If you (people) see Google, you will find that the maximum number of jokes are about one leader from the Congress... I had thought that Akhilesh was wise,” Modi remarked.

The prime minister also referred to SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav’s reported remarks that rape accused should not be sentenced to death as “boys do make mistakes”. He also referred to SP leader Azam Khan’s remark on the Bulandshahar gang-rape, for which he was forced to tender an apology in the Supreme Court. “Can you (people) expect such a government to ensure the safety of women?”, he said asked.

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