LokSabha 2019: Rahul unable to name PM face of 'Mahagathbandhan': Shah

PTI
Sunday, 7 April 2019

"Rahul Baba (Gandhi) is not able to tell the people who is the leader of the Mahagathbandhan. He does not know who will be prime minister if the alliance wins the upcoming polls," Shah said. 

Polasara/Bargarh: Hitting out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for being unable to name the prime ministerial face of "Mahagathbandhan", BJP president Amit Shah Sunday said Narendra Modi is NDA's clear choice for another term. 

Addressing back-to-back election rallies of BJP at Polasara in south Odisha and Bargarh in western part, the BJP president asserted that only Modi can keep the country secure by wiping out terrorism and ensure progress. 

"Rahul Baba (Gandhi) is not able to tell the people who is the leader of the Mahagathbandhan. He does not know who will be prime minister if the alliance wins the upcoming polls," Shah said. 

While Narendra Modi is all set to become the PM once again as the leader of the NDA, Gandhi cannot answer who will be the prime minister if their grand alliance is voted to power, the BJP chief said. 

"Someone told me Mayawati will be PM on Monday, Akhilesh (Yadav) on Tuesday, Lalu Yadav on Wednesday, Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday, Stalin on Friday and Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, while Sunday will be a holiday," Shah mocked. 

This kind of leadership cannot take the country forward, he said, adding Congress has ruled the country as well as Odisha for several years since Independence, but there has been no development. 

With Assembly election in Odisha slated to be held along with Lok Sabha polls this month, Shah also mounted a scathing attack on the BJD government blaming it for rampant corruption and backwardness in the state.
 
Dubbing Naveen Patnaik-led BJD as a "B" team of Congress, Shah said after elections they will unite, but it will have no impact on BJP which will "come to power with absolute majority at the Centre." 

Referring to Pulwama terror attack and subsequent air strike by India, the BJP chief said only Modi is capable of executing a counter-attack on the terrorist havens inside Pakistan on the 12th day of the incident. "Tell me can anyone except Narendra Modi do this," he asked adding that Modi is elevating the nation's pride all over. 

Modi can protect the country and bring development too, he said appealing to the people to give BJP a chance after having witnessed the performance of Congress and BJD. 

Taking a dig at Patnaik, Shah called upon the electorate to give "rest" to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as he is "tired" and "lacks the will" to develop the state. 

"There has been no developmental work during Naveen Babu's tenure in 19 years. He is tired. Therefore, give BJP a chance to meet the aspirations of people," he said promising that the BJP will take Odisha on the path of development.
 
Alleging that Odisha is being run by officers, Shah said, "next BJP government will end 'Babu-dom' in Odisha". He alleged that officers call the shots in Patnaik government while elected MLAs and MPs are ignored and have no voice.
 
Dubbing BJD government as a "fused" transformer which needs to be replaced immediately, Shah said BJP is like a power house capable of ensuring rapid development.
 
The BJP president also came down heavily on the BJD government alleging that it failed to reach the benefits of welfare schemes, launched by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, to the people of the state. 

The Modi government in the last five years has allocated Rs 5.56 lakh crore for Odisha's development, but the funds "failed" to reach the people in their villages, he said.
 
Assuring the people that only the saffron party can ensure better governance in the state, the BJP leader appealed to the people not to repeat the mistake of voting BJD again. 

People should have a "double engine" government by voting BJP to power both in the state and at the Centre so that both will work in tandem for speedy development, he said.
 
If the BJP comes to power in Odisha, it will punish people indulging in unlawful activities, including those involved in mining and chitfund scams, and put them behind bars, he said. 

"We will not only refund money to the victims of chit fund scam, but also get jail term to the leaders who are involved in the scam," said Shah. 

Listing out a host of projects undertaken by the Centre in Odisha, Shah said some of these are Paradip oil refinery, Jharsuguda airport, bio-gas plant at Bargarh, multi-modal logistic parks, highways and rail projects. Similarly, a waterways project is under way at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore for Mahanadi and Brahmani rivers.
 
The BJD government is, however, pushing the state backward, he said adding schools have no teacher, hospitals lack adequate number of doctors, people are not getting pure drinking water and 24-hour electricity. 

He also highlighted the assurance given by his party for the state in its manifesto which he unveiled earlier on the day at Bhubaneswar. 

Both Polasara in Ganjam district which falls under Aska Lok Sabha constituency and Bargarh parliamentary seat are slated to go to polls in the second phase on April 18.
 
Simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in Odisha will be held in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29. The state has 21 Lok Sabha and 147 assembly seats.

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