Anti-CAA protests: PM Modi dares opposition to speak against Pakistan.
Bengaluru: In a sign of things to come this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today aggressively took on the Congress at a largely Hindu crowd at Tumakuru near here in a move to galvanise the BJP’s vote bank. Calling the Congress the ‘voice of Pakistan’, he dared the party to criticise Pakistan and publicly say that it was rejecting the move to give citizenship to the persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians in Pakistan under the Citizens Amendment Act (CAA).
In his first public address of 2020 outside New Delhi, the PM chose his venue well to send out a scalding message to the Congress. Addressing a largely Lingayat crowd at the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru, Modi flayed the Congress and the Opposition for spreading chaos, confusion and anarchy across the country for his government’s role in giving protection to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians and other minorities in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister dared the Congress and opposition parties to condemn Pakistan for “persecution of religious minorities” instead of condemning the CAA.
“Our Parliament had passed the historical bill. But the Congress Party and the ecosystem created by them are running down the Indian Parliament instead of condemning Pakistan for committing atrocities against the religious minorities. Pakistan was formed based on religion and the Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Jains have been persecuted in Pakistan since Partition. But no one is criticising Pakistan. We cannot leave our persecuted brothers and sisters to their fate. It is our duty to help them, “ Modi said.
While the Congress has been rallying the minorities against the CAA, Modi chose a predominantly Hindu audience to drive home the point that the Congress has no concern for the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Christians and will never speak against Pakistan. “Why is the Congress afraid to criticise Pakistan,” he asked.
Strongly defending the CAA and abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said his government puts nation first, unlike the Congress whose over 60 years of rule has only resulted in misery.
Earlier, the PM paid obeisance to the “gadduge” (final resting place) of supercentenarian Lingayat seer late Sri Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga Mutt who passed away last year.
Shivakumara Swamy is considered by the Lingayats as the god who walked on earth. The Swamy was “a living example of goodness and it is my fortune that I am here in the beginning of the new year,” the Modi said.
“I am feeling the vacuum due to the seer’s physical absence. I have experienced that merely being in his presence used to energise me. In his lifetime Shivakumara Swamiji served the society with a sense of equality. I feel fortunate to be dedicating the museum based on this great soul,” said Modi, who also remembered Pejawara Sri, who passed away last week.
“I have come at a time when Karnataka has lost another saint – Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji of Pejawara mutt. The loss of the pillars that strengthen our social and spiritual existence is immense. While we cannot do much, we can resolve to work for the motherland,” said Modi.
Modi chose Karnataka, a BJP stronghold, to flex his muscles on CAA and also play his pro-Hindu card.
The PM stated that his government was zealous to storm into the third decade of the 21st century as it has to respond to the common aspiration of the youth, women, Dalits and Adivasis – to make India a supreme power.
“People have placed high priority for the transformation of the lives of the common man. In 2014, we focussed on open defecation free villages and towns, smoke-free kitchens, insurance and pension schemes. This term we have enacted long-pending legislation like abrogation of Article 370 that has ensured safety and ended uncertainties in Jammu and Kashmir and resolved Ram Janmabhoomi issue. Our government is working day and night to make lives of every Indian better,” Modi said and urged the religious leaders to pledge their support three causes.
“In 2014, I had appealed you to join hands for SwachchBharat. Today I appeal to you all to extend your cooperation to safeguard the ancient Indian tradition that emphasises on one’s duty, environment protection by boycotting single-use plastic and water conservation by spreading awareness on saving every drop if water,” the Prime Minister said.
The highlight of his 2-day Karnataka visit will be his inaugural address at the Indian Science Congress tomorrow. Unlike in the past, when mainstream universities were the centres of the science congress conventions, this year, the congress will be held at Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra Campus at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru, a centre known for its pioneering research in agricultural sciences.
The PM will distribute Krishi Karman Awards and Commendation Awards to progressive farmers of various states.
The event will also witness the release of the third instalment of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, which will benefit approximately six crore beneficiaries.
At another function today, Modi dedicated five DRDO Young Scientists Laboratories to the nation in Bengaluru in a boost to indigenous research capabilities in the defence sector.