In Dussehra speech, PM hits out at terror backers
Speaking on the occasion of Vijaya Dashmi at Lucknow, Modi said, people have to be united to fight against growing terrorism. This is the first time that a Prime Minister has participated in Dussehra celebrations outside Delhi. Traditionally, the Prime Minister leads celebrations at the historic Ramlila Grounds in the national Capital.
Addressing a large crowd at the mammoth Aish Bagh Ramlila in Lucknow, Modi said if people kept an eye on activities of terrorists, it would be easy to flush them out. Modi also said those who were helping terrorists and providing shelter to them must not be spared. Calling upon countries to fight terrorism unitedly, the Prime Minister said, terrorists have no geographical boundaries and can attack anyone anywhere in the world.
It is significant to note that the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh goes to polls in less than six months, Modi’s party has high stakes in them.
The decision of Prime Minister to visit Lucknow saw a poster war between the BJP and the rival parties on the issue of credit for the successful army strike on September 29 last.
Modi was accompanied by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is the local MP, and the duo has been projected by the party cadres as avengers of the terrorist attack on Uri, in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav too indicated his reservations on PM’s visit when he told media persons that had the elections been due in some other state the Prime Minister would have gone there to slay Ravana.
Yadav, however, extending courtesy as per protocol, received Prime Minister at the Amausi airport earlier on Tuesday. During the course of his speech, Modi, however, tried to hedge the political memo with a number of social messages.
On corruption, Modi said people needed to show commitment to deal with the problem. “Filth, poverty and illiteracy are other forms of Ravana, so let’s burn them as well this year,” said Modi.
He also asked the people that on the occasion of Dussehra they should remove the evils from within. Since Girl Child day was also being observed on Monday, Modi asked the people not to discriminate between girl and boy child.
He said: “We burn effigies of Ravana since ages to condemn the assault on Sita’s honour. But we distinguish between boys and girls. Today is the International Day of the Girl. There is a need to end gender-based discrimination.”