Congress trying to malign Hindus, says Shah

Bhubaneswar: BJP President Amit Shah on Monday took a dig at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for what he said trying to malign Hindus by linking them to so-called “Hindu terror”.

Shah said thousands were acquitted recently in the Samjhauta Express blast case but real culprits in the case have gone scot free.

“All the accused have been acquitted. Rahul Gandhi and his party attempted to link the Hindus across the world to ‘Hindu terror’,” said the BJP chief addressing a rally in Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district.

He said the Congress has abused Hindus with the tag of terrorist to protect their vote bank.

Maintaining that the country is safe in the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) believes in responding to the bullets of terrorists with bombs.

“Nobody other than Modiji can protect this country,” Shah claimed.

He urged the people of Odisha to uproot the Naveen Patnaik government and bring the saffron party for the development of the state.

“I urge the people of Odisha not to repeat the mistake of electing the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) once again. You have given 19 years to BJD and a long period to Congress in the past. Give the BJP a chance here… We will make Odisha the number one state in five years,” Shah said.

The BJP President began the election campaign in the state by alleging that the Patnaik government has “done nothing except corruption”.

Shah criticised the Chief Minister for his poor understanding and enunciation of the Odia language.

“It is unfortunate that Naveen Patnaik can’t speak Odia language. Elect a Chief Minister who will understand your language, feelings and emotions. How can someone who doesn’t know Odia solve the problems of the Odia people?” he said.

The jibe came on a day when Odisha is celebrating “Utkal Divas”, the creation of the state as a separate province on April 1, 1936.

Shah said that many people are migrating to places like Surat in Gujarat, as there is dearth of employment opportunities in Odisha.

He assured that employment opportunities will be created in the state if the BJP comes to power in the state.

He also alleged that Patnaik’s attitude towards western and central Odisha is “step-motherly”.

Odisha will have simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29. The state has 21 Lok Sabha seats and 147 Assembly seats.