Stung by Congress’ continued attack on Citizenship Amendment Act, NPR and NRC, BJP on Friday challenged Rahul Gandhi to prove if CAA can take citizenship of even on citizens and suggested he should be getting “liar of the year” award.
The party in a subtle shift also sought to take away the spotlight from the contentious issue to its pre-2014 position of highlighting the policy paralysis and corruption charges against the Congress and sought to counterpoint it with the performance of the BJP on checking graft and improving ease of business.
Addressing a meeting in Shimla, BJP chief and Home Minister Amit Shah also used "Aalia, Maaliya, Jamaliya" jibe to attack Manmohan Singh-led government of UPA on the security front saying these from Pakistan used to enter our nation and chop off the heads of Indian soldiers. which has been firmly checked after the Modi government came to power in 2014.
He said, “Congress & Company is spreading rumours that the citizenship of minorities is going to be snatched. I challenge Rahul Baba to show me if there is even a single provision to take back citizenship.”
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, addressing a press conference in BJP headquarters in Delhi was livid at Rahul Gandhi for his claim that the National Population Register is a "tax on the poor”.
A day after BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra called Rahul “jhooth ka sardar (master of lies), Javadekar said, “he deserves liar of the 2019” award.
Accusing the Congress leader of spreading misinformation, the BJP said Shah and Javadekar said that NPR was not new that such an exercise was undertaken in 2010 as well.
“Today Rahul Gandhi said NPR is a tax on the poor. NPR is a population register in which information given by people are collected. Where did tax come in all this? Tax is the culture of Congress—Jayanti Tax, Coal Tax, 2G Tax, Jijaji (Robert Vadra) tax,” Javadekar said seeking to revive the memory of corruption allegations against the UPA II government before Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP came to power in 2014.
In Shimla on the completion of two years of BJP’s state government, Shah also alleged “for last many years (before 2014) there was talk of corruption in India. There were scams worth Rs 12 lakh crore in ten years of Congress government. It was Modi government, which worked to end corruption. Even our enemies can not level corruption charge against us”
The BJP chief also sought to do a mix of Hindutva and development narrative by promising a “skyscraper” Ram temple at Ayodhya and lauding Modi government for scrapping Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and at the same time also recalling how India climbed up in the list of countries in Ease of Business from 142nd position in 2014 to 63rd position in.
He also recalled how “schemes were never completed during Congress rule” and that now “Modi ji has brought in a new work culture”.
He also recalled how global investors had also called in Himachal Pradesh’ Global Investors Meet during Modi regime. The remarks by Shah
Himachal Pradesh is a state bordering Delhi where assembly elections are just two months away and will be the second state election after Jharkhand, where the BJP has lost this week, the first state go to polls after 2019 Lok Sabha polls. There is an apparent understanding in the BJP that among the primarily urban voters of Delhi, the emotive issues may not cut much ice and the issue of good governance has to be one of the key themes.