Con­gress is try­ing to save ur­ban Maoists, says Modi

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Nation - S Ka­reemud­din let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

BAS­TAR: Cam­paign­ing in Ch­hat­tis­garh three days be­fore it goes to the polls, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Fri­day trained his guns on the Con­gress, ac­cus­ing it of sym­pa­this­ing with the Maoists — a charge de­nied by the lat­ter.

“You peo­ple must have seen the ur­ban Maoists, seated in air­con­di­tioned rooms in cities, who look good, are in good com­pany and en­joy sta­tus. Their chil­dren study abroad,” he told a rally at Jag­dalpur ahead of the first phase of elec­tions on Mon­day. “But while seated there, through re­mote con­trol, they ruin the lives of the tribal chil­dren here.”

The Prime Min­is­ter ac­cused the Con­gress of back­ing the so-called ur­ban Maoists. “If the gov­ern­ment acts against them, then you (Con­gress) try to save them,” he said, in a pos­si­ble ref­er­ence to the ar­rests of sev­eral ac­tivists by Pune po­lice in late Au­gust on charges of hav­ing Maoist links.

He claimed Con­gress lead­ers were prac­tis­ing dou­ble stan­dards by vow­ing to rid the state of Maoists when they were in Ch­hat­tis­garh but in re­al­ity sym­pa­this­ing with the rebels.

Re­fer­ring to the killing of Do­or­dar­shan cam­era­man Achutyanand Sahu by the Maoists on Oc­to­ber 30, Modi slammed the Con­gress for call­ing the rebels ‘rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies’. “He had come with a cam­era and not a gun. He came to share your dreams with the world through his cam­era but he was killed by Maoists .... But shame­fully the Con­gress calls them rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies,” he said.

Terming the Maoists “mon­sters with an evil mind­set”, the PM said ear­lier gov­ern­ments have not done enough for the de­vel­op­ment of Bas­tar. “I ap­peal to you to en­sure that BJP wins all seats in Bas­tar. If any­one else wins, it will be a blot on Bas­tar’s dreams,” he said.

Claim­ing that the Con­gress had taken a jibe at him for wear­ing tribal head­gear at a rally in the north-east, he said, “That was an in­sult of tribal cul­ture. I don’t know why Con­gress makes fun of trib­als.”

Modi then switched to heap­ing praises on chief min­is­ter Ra­man Singh. “De­spite all ob­sta­cles, Ra­man Singh has brought de­vel­op­ment to the state whereas the Con­gress ig­nored the state,” the PM said.

Con­gress spokesper­son R P Singh said the BJP’s des­per­a­tion was show­ing in what he called the base­less al­le­ga­tions made by the Prime Min­is­ter. “The Con­gress has al­ways stood with the poor and the marginalised whereas the BJP is a gov­ern­ment for the rich as they have handed over the land of trib­als to them,” Singh al­leged. On Modi’s al­le­ga­tion on ur­ban Maoists, Singh said sev­eral Con­gress lead­ers had lost their lives while fight­ing Maoists.

The first phase of the Ch­hat­tis­garh elec­tions will see polling in 18 seats in eight Maoist-af­fected dis­tricts on Mon­day.

You peo­ple must have seen the ur­ban Maoists, seated in air­con­di­tioned rooms in cities... While seated there, through re­mote con­trol, they ruin the lives of the tribal chil­dren here. NAREN­DRA MODI, Prime Min­is­ter

Bas­tar is rich in nat­u­ral re­sources, but lo­cal peo­ple don’t have ac­cess to their ben­e­fits. The ben­e­fits are reach­ing a few in­dus­tri­al­ist friends of Modi ji (PM Modi) and Ch­hat­tis­garh CM.

RAHUL GANDHI, Con­gress pres­i­dent

PTI

■ PM Naren­dra Modi (right) and Ch­hat­tis­garh CM Ra­man Singh dur­ing a rally in Bas­tar on Fri­day.

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