Amethi battle lines drawn as Modi roots for Smriti

Last Updated 03 March 2019, 13:17 IST

Taking the battle to the Congress president Rahul Gandhi's bastion of Amethi, prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday virtually declared union minister Smriti Irani as the BJP candidate from the constituency in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls and hoped that the electorate of Amethi would ''script a new history'' in the next general elections.

Addressing a public meeting after inaugurating an AK series assault rifle manufacturing factory in Amethi, Modi attacked Rahul, who was the MP from the constituency, for doing precious little for the people and appealed to the electorate not to ''elect'' him (Rahul) this time.

''I am certain Amethi is going to script a new history.....a history, which will impact the entire country,'' Modi said as he heaped praise on Smriti Irani for her efforts to develop the constituency despite losing the 2014 LS polls to Rahul.

''In 2014, Smriti had come here (Amethi) as a candidate....we could not win the polls but we succeeded in winning the hearts...Smriti has worked hard here....she has done more work her than the one, who had won the polls,'' the prime minister said.

Modi said that Amethi was the ''best example'' of his government's motto of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas'. ''Those, who did not vote for us, are also our own people,'' he said.

The prime minister targeted Rahul for the alleged ''delay'' in completing the assault rifle factory project at Amethi, which was inaugurated in 2007. ''It shows how the family (Gandhi) ignored the needs of the defence forces....why do you (people) elect such people?'' he asked.

Modi also alleged that the Congress government had failed to procure bullet proof jackets for the jawans and also ''delayed'' the Rafale fighter plane purchase.

''They (Cong) sat on Rafale file....now even after the clean chit by supreme court and CAG, they are telling lies....Congress' frustration of not being able to get commission in defence deal is clearly visible,'' he remarked.

Modi also lauded the Russian president Vladimir Putin for expediting the Indo-Russian joint assault rifle factory, where one of the most modern rifles (AK 203) would be manufactured and also exported.

(Published 03 March 2019, 13:06 IST)

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