Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the BJP had made the mistake of coining the ‘India Shining’ slogan and lost the 2004 elections as he predicted the same fate for the opposition INDIA alliance in 2024.
Addressing a public meeting before flagging off BJP’s Jan Ashirwad Yatra in Neemuch, Singh said Congress should either snap ties with its ally DMK over Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s comments on Sanatan Dharma or apologise to people on his behalf.
He also took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, saying Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the south pole of the Moon, but “Rahulyaan” could neither be launched nor landed.
“The Congress has realized that it cannot defeat us on its own. After 28 parties joined and formed an alliance called INDIA, 38 parties have come with BJP due to its charisma. Do you all like India or Bharat?” he asked the audience.
“We, during the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had made a mistake by coining the ‘India Shining’ slogan but lost the (2004) polls. We realized our mistake. The INDIA bloc would meet the same fate….It will be demolished in (general) elections (in 2024), the veteran BJP leader said.
The Jan Ashirwad Yatras aim to reach out to the masses highlighting the achievements of the state government ahead of the Madhya Pradesh polls, which are due later this year. The first Yatra was launched by BJP president JP Nadda in Chitrakoot in the state on Sunday.
“At a time when we have made successful strides to the Moon and the Sun and launched Chandrayaan 3 in the south pole of the Moon…the Congress has failed to launch ‘Rahulyaan’ in the last 20 years, Singh said.
Referring to Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks that “Sanatan Dharma was against equality and social justice, and it should be eradicated”, Singh said the DMK, a constituent of the INDIA grouping, has hurt sentiments.
“The Congress should snap ties with DMK or apologise for Stalin’s remark,” he added.
Singh said Sanatan Dharma considers the world as a single family and gives the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
“In Sanatan Dharma, women feed flour to ants, if they are around while preparing rotis. Even snakes are offered milk and a prayer is made for their long life,” Singh said.
Taking a swipe at the INDIA grouping consisting of 28 parties, Singh said if an alliance is formed, its aim should be to enhance the respect of the country.
“But this alliance was formed with the sole aim that PM Modi shouldn’t come to power again under any circumstances,” he said.
Referring to the Indian space missions, including Mangalyaan, Chandrayaan 3, and Aditya-L1, Singh said scientists have made the country proud.
He recalled that India exported vaccines to 100 countries during the Covid-19 period under the leadership of the prime minister.
“Under the dynamic leadership of PM Modi, India’s economy has become the fifth largest (in the world), which was at the 10th slot before Modiji became PM (in 2014),” he said.
Singh said the Modi government wants to make the country the strongest economy in the world by 2047 and appealed to people to bless Modi and MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (during elections) for achieving this feat.
“India’s stature in the world has grown tall under the leadership of Modi. Before that, India was not taken seriously at international platforms,” Singh claimed.
He said after Modi spoke to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Vladimir Putin (Russia), and Joe Biden (US), the war between Ukraine and Russia was stopped for some hours to enable the safe evacuation of 23,000 Indian students stuck in the troubled zone.
Hailing the MP chief minister, Singh said Chouhan is sensitive to issues of common people.
He lashed out at Chouhan’s predecessor Kamal Nath of Congress for “stopping welfare schemes of the Centre, especially providing houses to the poor, when he was chief minister between December 2018 and March 2020”.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)
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