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PM Modi sounds poll bugle, asks Puducherry to vote to become 'BEST'

Targeting the Congress, he said the party was an expert in telling lies and accused it of pitting region against region
Last Updated : 26 February 2021, 09:29 IST
Last Updated : 26 February 2021, 09:29 IST
Last Updated : 26 February 2021, 09:29 IST
Last Updated : 26 February 2021, 09:29 IST

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Launching a scathing attack on Congress and former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed to the people of Puducherry to vote the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to power in the ensuing Assembly elections by following the rest of the country which has “rejected Congress.”

Addressing a public meeting in Puducherry days after the Congress government lost its majority, Modi trained his guns on Narayanasamy, accusing him of only “serving” the Congress high command and not the people of Puducherry.

In his speech in English, which was translated into Tamil by Tamil Nadu BJP leader H Raja, Modi tore into Narayanasamy for translating a complaint by a woman from the fishing community into a compliment and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his remarks during the latter's visit last week. He also accused the former chief minister of not cooperating with the Centre on the development of Puducherry in the last five years.

“Instead of telling the truth to the nation, the former Puducherry Chief Minister gave a wrong translation of the woman’s words. He lied to the people and his own leader. Can a party whose culture is based on lies ever serve people?” Modi asked.

Modi's visit to Puducherry, during which he inaugurated several projects, is expected to give a fillip to the N R Congress-BJP-AIADMK alliance in the UT which is hoping to overthrow the Congress. The BJP failed to open its account in the 2016 elections, but three of its leaders were nominated to the Assembly by the Centre. The party is now taking efforts to open its account.

Targeting the Congress, he said the party was an expert in telling lies and accused it of pitting region against region and community against community, in an apparent reference to Gandhi's comparison of politics in different parts of the country.

“The colonial rulers adopted the policy of divide and rule. Congress has a policy of divide, lie and rule. They are gold, silver and bronze medal winners in telling lies...Congress' seats in the Parliament are at a lowest ever! Their culture of feudal, patronage, dynasty politics is ending. India is young, aspirational, and forward-looking,” Modi said.

Contending that Congress is being rejected by people in many states, Modi said the party's strength in Parliament is the lowest ever. “The colonial rulers adopted the policy of divide and rule. Congress has a policy of divide, lie and rule. They are gold, silver and bronze medal winners in telling lies... Congress' seats in the Parliament are at the lowest ever! Their culture of feudal, patronage, dynasty politics is ending. India is young, aspirational, and forward-looking,” Modi said.

He also attacked Narayanasamy saying the leader was more interested in “lifting the slippers of his leader” (Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s) rather than “lifting people out of poverty.” Alleging that the Congress government was known for “misgovernance”, Modi appealed to the people of Puducherry to vote the NDA to power and support good governance.

“I want Puducherry to be the BEST! NDA wants to make Puducherry the BEST. By best, I mean – B for business hub, E for education hub, S for spiritual hub and T for tourism hub,” he said.

Attacking the Congress government in Puducherry which collapsed on Monday, Modi sought to know why Narayanasamy never conducted panchayat polls despite being nudged by the Supreme Court. He said Congress leaders deliver sermons about democracy to him and the BJP, but fail to look at the mirror.

“Panchayat polls can happen in Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, in Leh-Ladakh but not in Puducherry. People of Puducherry will now punish the anti-democratic mindset of Congress,” he said.

He also criticised Rahul Gandhi for his comments that the fishermen community needs a separate ministry, saying he was “shocked at his remarks.” The truth is, it is the current NDA government that made this ministry for fisheries in 2019. The budget allocated for fisheries has grown more than 80 per cent in just two years,” he said.

In his response to Modi, Rahul tweeted: “Dear PM, Fisherfolk need an independent and dedicated ministry of fisheries, not just a department within a ministry. PS- “Hum do Humare do” obviously hurt bad.”

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Published 25 February 2021, 10:25 IST

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