The BJP Saturday termed Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s attacks on the Prime Minister outcome of his frustration as the party is not only losing elections across the country in a big way but its “so-called bastion Amethi is also crumbling.”
Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said the remarks by the Congress chief indicate “desperation because the party is seeing not only its fortunes crumble all over India but also seeing its so-called bastions in Amethi and Rae Bareli crumbling”.
“Field reports clearly suggests that Rahul Gandhi is losing Amethi by a wide margin and the party, therefore according to the local reports, is resorting to unleashing manpower, distribution of liquor, and even sizeable number of weapons have been seized from both the constituencies. So certainly a great desperation is visible in the Congress camp as they see even Amethi crumbling in this election,” Rao said.
“People of the country want Modiji back. Rahul Gandhi knows the reality and is scared of losing Amethi, and out of desperation is making such claims which are factually incorrect,” he added.
Congress president on Saturday said his party’s internal assessment after four phases of polling shows that the BJP will lose in the Lok Sabha elections and he sees a “scared prime minister” unable to face the onslaught of the opposition.
Rao further said the “vote-cutter” comment of Congress is a clear acceptance of its defeat and degeneration of the party.
Earlier this week, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress general secretary and in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, had said wherever the party has strong candidates it will win while in other places it has fielded those candidates who will cut the votes of the BJP.
Terming Rahul Gandhi’s claims as farcical, Rao claimed the Congress is not only losing polls in this election but also losing its relevance.
“Congress is facing extinction in this election. Despite a series of lies uttered by Gandhi over the last several months, he simply has not been able to bring the party back to life and it is literally on the death-bed in this election,” Rao said.
Responding to questions by the Congress leaders as to why national security was an issue, he said it is the top issue for the BJP and the dominant issue for the country, unlike for the Congress during whose regime there had been several terror attacks.
Referring to the recent terror attacks in Sri Lanka which claimed 253 lives, Rao said it shows how terrorism and violence can act detrimental for the development of a country and bring it to stand still.
Nine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts in Sir Lanka that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21, killing 253 people and injuring over 500 others.
“No major terror strike in any main states have happened during the Modi government’s rule and people today breathe easy and feel secure that they have a ‘chowkidaar’. Congress party’s track record in this regard has been dismal and that is why it doesn’t want any discussion on national security,” he alleged.
Rao said Congress leaders are making frivolous claims of having conducted surgical strikes during their tenure but before September 29, 2016 there is no record of such strikes and it was also stated by the Army Director General Military Operations in an RTI reply.
“I want to ask Rahul Gandhi were the surgical strikes carried from 24 Akbar Road (Congress headquarters) because neither the Indian Army nor the Pakistan Army is aware of it,” Rao quipped.
He also termed the BJP MLA Sangeet Som’s demand for a ban on burqa as his individual opinion not the party’s.
“The key issues in this elections, we comment on those from this platform. Various individual opinions of various leaders are strictly individual opinions,” he said.
Over Gandhi raising the issue of demonetisation, Rao said opposition had also made it an election issue during the assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and people gave their mandate to Modi.
He claimed that after demonetisation, the number of income tax payee have almost doubled, direct tax collection has increased big time and the economy of the country has strengthened.
“If the Congress still again wants to make it an issue, we challenge them to take it to the people and seek their referendum. They will again give them mandate out of favour,” he said.
In a sudden decision on November 8, 2016, Modi had banned the currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 denominations.