BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi referred to Ram Rajya in his rally in Varanasi without mentioning the Ram temple. He continued his tirade against the Gandhi family.
Displaying his sway over the crowds, Modi said, “I have faith in the people of UP. Your ancestors established Ram rajya. Had the people not been empowered, there would never have been Ram rajya here. The state has all that is needed for Ram rajya. The strength, tradition and will needed for establishing Ram rajya...” A little earlier, UP BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpayi had set the crowds roaring with his introductory address, exhorting them to chant “Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi” — a slogan gaining traction here.
Modi, who has held four rallies in Kanpur, Jhansi, Bahraich and Agra in UP (the state sends 80 Lok Sabha MPs), made his first stump speech in east UP — crucial to the party’s fortunes. Citing the Ganga Action Plan, envisaged by then PM Rajiv Gandhi to clean up the polluted river, Modi said thousands of crores have been wasted.
“I request the PM to share detailed accounts with people and answer them how many thousands of crores of rupees have been spent on the project to clean up the Ganga — an issue on which the Congress has sought votes since Rajiv Gandhi’s time,” Modi said.
Before flying to the rally site Modi visited Sankatmochan and Lord Vishwanath temples with BJP chief Rajnath Singh. Modi and Rajnath were at Sankatmochan — bombed by terrorists in 2006 — for about 20 minutes. Temple mahant Vishwanath Misra met Modi and Rajnath and raised the issue of Ganga’s pollution. Modi duly took it up. “In the past decade, Gujarat got Sabarmati cleaned which was reduced to a drain,” Modi said. “Those who support Congress and ask me about my vision, I tell them: this is my vision,” he said in his speech.
Modi also harped on his secular credentials and narrated the woes of a Muslim man from Varanasi who had written to him two days ago. He said that the Muslim man is fed up of the noise due to powerlooms among weavers’ community in Varanasi. Again, showcasing Surat powerlooms’ upgradation, Modi said that with the help of the Gujarat government, the powerlooms are now noise free.