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Cong practises vote bank politics, can't take stand on nationalism: Shah

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 16, 2019  | 21:32 IST

(Eds: Adds inputs from other rallies) Tigaon/Panipat (Haryana), Oct 16 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday attacked the Congress over Article 370, triple talaq and the NRC, accusing it of not taking a stand on nationalism for the sake of its “vote bank”. Addressing a poll rally at Tigaon near Faridabad, the Bharatiya Janata Party president repeated that every illegal migrant in the country will be sent home before the next Lok Sabha polls in 2024. Citing the government’s recent move on Article 370, Shah said terrorism will be “eliminated” from the country. The Tigaon rally was the first of the four meetings addressed during the day by the Home Minister. He later visited Panipat, Jhajjar and Gurgaon. In Panipat, he described the Haryana assembly elections as “the battle of Panipat”. Shah dared Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, to make it clear before the October 21 assembly elections whether he supported the nullification of Article 370, or would bring it back if voted to power at the Centre. Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had fulfilled the long-pending wish of the people with the abrogation of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, and making Kashmir an integral part of the nation. "Several parties came, several CMs, PMs came in the last 70 years, but nobody dared to nullify Article 370,” Shah said. “Because of Article 370, Pakistan used to mislead the youth of Kashmir and give them weapons. During the Congress regime, such a spell of terrorism continued that over 40,000 people have become victims of terrorism from 1990 till now. But the Congress did not abrogate Article 370,” he said. He said the BJP, its allies and several other parties supported the abrogation of Article 370. “On the other side, the Congress opposed it.” “It is not a new thing. Whenever there is a question of nationalism, the Congress keeps mum (“Congress party ko saanp soongh jaata hai”),” he charged. “They cannot take a stand because of their vote bank,” he added. “The Congress should make clear its stand, whether it is in favour of removal of Article 370 or not. Friends, they will not speak. Instead of the country, they like power and the vote bank,” he said. He alleged that former prime minister Manmohan Singh kept mum “when Pakistan-sponsored terrorists beheaded our soldiers and mutilated their bodies after infiltrating into our country." He said it was Prime Minister Modi “with a 56-inch chest” who ordered surgical and air strikes to kill terrorists in their dens in Pakistan after the Uri and Pulwama attacks in Kashmir. Shah accused the former Congress chief and Pakistan of saying the same things. “Rahul baba wanted proof of the surgical strike. When he said this, Pakistan parliament also sought proof of that,” he said. “When Article 370 was nullified, Rahul baba opposed it. (Pakistan’s prime minister) Imran Khan immediately went to the UN and said Rahul Gandhi was opposing it,” he added. Shah also referred to Gandhi’s remark after the surgical strike against Pakistan in 2016, when he accused the BJP government of doing “khoon ki dalali” with the blood of soldiers. On the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update in Assam, Shah said the Congress opposed the move against illegal immigrants. "The Congress is asking why you are throwing out infiltrators. Where will they go, what will they eat and where will they stay?” he said. “Hooda sahib, why are you worried? Are they related to you?” he said, directing a barb against the Congress Legislature Party chief in Haryana. Shah said before 2024, each “infiltrator” will be ousted by the BJP government. He also criticised the Congress for “opposing” the law against instant triple talaq. Shah accused Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who has been Haryana chief minister twice, of usurping farmers’ land to benefit Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. “These people were doing `dalali' (acting as middlemen),” he alleged. He said Chief Minister M L Khattar had provided a corruption-free government for the past five years and now there is no need for 'sifarish' or lobbying for government jobs and transfers. He said the previous Congress government followed the principle of the three ‘Ds’ -- 'darbarion ki sarkar' (government of coteries), 'damaad ki sarkar' (government of the son-in-law) and 'damaad ke dalalon ki sarkar' (government of the son-in-law’s brokers). However, for the BJP, 'D' always meant development, he claimed. In Panipat, he said foreign dignitaries are now presented with a copy of the 'Bhagwad Gita', instead of the past practice of being gifted with a replica of the Taj Mahal. “There is nothing wrong in gifting a replica of the Taj Mahal,” he said, adding that the Narendra Modi government had started the practice of presenting visiting leaders with the holy book. PTI CHS SUN VSD ASH

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