Country's chowkidar is pure, not chor: Rajnath Singh

Country's chowkidar is pure, not chor: Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union PNG Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, state BJP President Basanta Panda and others during booth- level workers conference meeting and public rally, in Bhadrak, Sunday, Feb 17, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Union Home Minister and BJP leader Rajnath Singh on Sunday asserted that the country's "chowkidar (watchman) is pure and not a chor" (thief) while lashing out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his frequent barbs against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Addressing a rally on the outskirts of the north Odisha town of Bhadrak, the BJP stalwart said that Modi will continue to serve as prime minister after the Lok Sabha polls for his "honesty, integrity and performance".

In reference to Gandhi's oft-repeated jibe of 'chowkidar chor hai' (the watchman is the thief) made in the context of the Rafale fighter jet deal, Singh said, "No one can raise the question on the intention and integrity of the prime minister."

"The Congress chief says 'chowkidar chor hai', but he should realise that the country's chowkidar is not chor but pure."

Hitting out at Gandhi, the home minister said the Congress chief can comment on the performance of the incumbent government, but he should refrain from levelling unfounded allegations.

"He (Modi) is sure to be prime minister again, he is the cure to all problems," Singh said.

All political parties and leaders should maintain the dignity of the chair of the prime minister and president, he said, adding "but you (Gandhi) have no concern... you speak whatever comes to your mind."

Accusing the Congress of misleading people on the Rafale deal issue, Singh said it is unfair to level corruption charges against the prime minister as he has no one for whom he would require money.

"Who will Modiji grab money for? He has no family," the BJP leader said.

Singh stated that his party was not into politics for the sake of forming a government, but for developing the society and the nation.

"We do not want to make India an economic superpower, but a nation which can be economically strong and a leader in 'gyan' and 'vigyan' (knowledge and science). We want to make India a 'vishwa guru' (global leader). Only the BJP and your prime minister are capable of achieving this."

Coming down heavily on the Congress leaders for ridiculing the BJP and terming it as a "party with limited influence in national politics", Singh said the saffron party, which once had two members in the Lok Sabha, has demonstrated its strength over the years to secure an absolute majority.

"If (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee and (L K) Advani had laid the foundation of the BJP's growth, it was Modi who consolidated the momentum and gave it an absolute majority in 2014 elections," he said.

Hailing the prime minister's leadership, the home minister said India has made rapid strides since Modi became the PM and the country is poised to be among the top three nations in the world by 2030.

At the beginning of his speech, Singh paid tributes to two CRPF soldiers from the state who were among the 40 killed in Pulwama and accused Pakistan of patronizing the Thursday terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir.

He claimed that the neighbouring country backed the attack after finding out that the terrorists have become frustrated in the wake of the successful operations by the Indian forces in the past five years.

"Pakistan, which has been patronising terrorism, realised that frustration and desperation had grown among the militants due to successful operations against them by our security forces in five years," Singh said.

Those present at the meeting observed a two-minute silence tin memory of the 40 CRPF jawans killed in the Pulwama terror attack.

Asserting that the security forces have been given a free hand to give a "befitting reply" to the attack, the Union home minister said the sacrifice made by the CRPF jawans would not go in vain.

Mounting a scathing attack on the BJD government in Odisha, he said even though the state has a stable government for the past 19 years, but has been no development.

"I am unable to understand as to why Odisha has failed to progress despite having a stable government," he said, adding that states ruled by BJP have witnessed rapid growth.

Slamming the Odisha government for rejecting the Centre's Ayushman Bharat scheme, Singh said the development of the state will be possible only if BJP is voted to power.

"Odisha will see rapid progress if BJP forms government both at the Centre and in the state," he said and assured the farmers that they will get remunerative prices for their produce if the saffron party forms government.