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Heed President, shun hate talk, says Narendra Modi in Bihar

Heed President, shun hate talk, says Narendra Modi in Bihar
Highlights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence Thursday on the horrific Dadri lynching, deftly reacting to President Pranab Mukherjee’s observation Wednesday on the need for Hindu-Muslim unity, and urged people to ignore all “irresponsible” statements by politicians, even if he himself makes any.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence Thursday on the horrific Dadri lynching, deftly reacting to President Pranab Mukherjee’s observation Wednesday on the need for Hindu-Muslim unity, and urged people to ignore all “irresponsible” statements by politicians, even if he himself makes any.


Mr Modi, under sharp attack from the Opposition parties for remaining silent on the lynching, chose to speak at an election rally in Bihar, silencing his critics and asking people “to shed all differences and join hands in their fight against poverty and nation-building”.

The PM, on a two-day campaign trip to Bihar ahead of the Assembly elections that begin October 12, said at a rally:

“The President’s is an eye-opener... If you need to pay heed, it should be to the message and guidance given by the President. Yesterday, the President showed the path. Whatever the head of the country of 125 crore people has said, there can be no bigger message, no bigger direction, no bigger inspiration than that.”

Mr Modi urged all countrymen to tread the path shown by the President... “only then can India meet the expectations that the world has from us”. On Wednesday, speaking at an event at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mr Mukherjee said the “core values of diversity, tolerance and plurality of Indian civilisation cannot be allowed to be wasted”.

Addressing a rally in Nawada Thursday, Mr Modi accused political leaders of giving inflammatory statements and speeches for their “‘political benefit”, and went on to add: “I want to tell countrymen some small-time politicians are hell bent on making irresponsible statements for their political interest... Such statements should end. I want to urge people not to pay attention to such statements, even if Narendra Modi himself says.” These remarks come in the backdrop of top BJP leaders and NDA ministers making controversial statements and giving provocative speeches on the Dadri killing.

Calling on Hindus and Musims to “unite in the fight” to eradicate poverty across India, the Prime Minister said: “I have said it earlier too... We have to decide whether Hindus should fight Muslims or poverty... Muslims should decide whether to fight Hindus or poverty... The country will benefit only when Hindus and Muslims together fight poverty and defeat it. The country has to stay united.” On Thursday, President Mukherjee again stressed the need to “amplify the voice of moderation”, saying that “tolerance and coexistence are basic tenets of our civilisation”. In an interview to a Jordanian newspaper ahead of his coming Middle East visit, Mr Mukherjee said: “Hate speech and fear mongering should come to an end.We should not permit religion to be used as a mask to satisfy hunger for power and control of some individuals.” He also invoked the country’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru, who propounded the five principles of peaceful coexistence among nations, saying: “Tolerance and co-existence are basic tenets of our civilisation. We hold them very dear to our hearts.”

Speaking at a rally in Bihar on Tuesday, Mr Modi said the “grand alliance” of the JD(U), RJD and Congress was a “maha swarth gathbandhan” (big selfish coalition) and accused Bihar CM Nitish Kumar of doing politics without bothering about those who had lost their lives in the bomb blasts that had rocked Patna’s Gandhi Maidan in 2013 in the run-up to last year’s Lok Sable polls. Mr Modi recalled his speech at the venue, where he had underlined the message of harmony of brotherhood amid bloodshed. “It is with this view and culture that we are moving,” the Prime Minister said.

Launching a direct attack on Mr Kumar, Mr Modi said: “The arrogant leader left Patna at the time and mocked at my remarks. He was not worried about law and order and about those who lost their lives in the blasts, but was making fun. His arrogance was touching the skies. Such politics should not be played.”

The PM said the “grand alliance” was nothing but like the house of Bigg Boss (TV programme), where there is one “big boss” who wants everyone to dance to his tune. “Like in the Bigg Boss house, they fear even from each other’s shadow and are playing to finish each other and the ‘big boss’ is trying to make them dance like a ringleader. Do you want this game to continue? Do you have to save Bihar from this game or not?, he asked, and urged people to elect a BJP-led NDA government in the state, saying the responsibility of fulfilling their dreams lay with him. “I take the responsibility of fulfilling your dreams. We will fulfil your aspirations,” he said.

In New Delhi, Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu tried to distance the Centre from the Dadri episode, saying the Centre could not be blamed for “local happenings” and stressed that people, particularly the younger generation, were more interested in “development’” and not in such incidents.
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