Narendra Modi, at final rally before Maharastra Assembly polls in Mumbai, claims Congress failed to act after terror attacks

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused the previous Congress government of failing to act after terror attacks in Mumbai, but said such a situation does not persist now as perpetrators now know they will be punished.

Narendra Modi, at final rally before Maharastra Assembly polls in Mumbai, claims Congress failed to act after terror attacks addressing his last campaign rally for the 21 October, Maharashtra Assembly election, Modi also spoke of the economic reforms ushered in by the BJP-led Central and Maharashtra governments, which he said had no “stain of corruption” on them.

Modi said during the Congress-led regimes, terror attacks, and bomb blasts would take place in Mumbai “any time” and its coastline had become “entry point” for terrorists. “That is not the situation now. Why? Because those who nurture terrorism now know they will be punished,” Modi said.

He also referred to the surgical strike and Balakot air strike post terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama respectively as “not mere words, but the policy of the BJP and its allies”. “When evidence with probe agencies after the terror attacks pointed out to masterminds across the border, Congress leaders instead said the attacks were the handiwork of those in India,” he said.

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Attacking the opposition, Modi said they “nurtured” for decades Article 370, which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. He accused the Congress and its allies of playing politics of self-interest even as terrorism spread in Kashmir valley and people were deprived of their rights.

The prime minister also asked why it was so that when it came to giving justice to the victims of such violence, the Congress “defended” terrorists. Recalling the 1993 Mumbai blasts, Modi alleged the governments then did not do justice to the victims.

“The people who killed our people escaped. And the reason is now becoming evident. These people, instead of catching the culprits, are into trade of Mirchi. Sometimes trade of Mirchi, sometimes trade with Mirchi,” Modi said, without elaborating and naming anyone.

“Doshiyon ko pakadne ke bajai unke saath kabhi mirchi ka vypaar kabhi mirchi ke saath vyapar,” Modi said.

A political analyst said Modi’s comment “Mirchi ke saath vyapar” was a veiled reference to NCP leader Praful Patel being summoned by the Enforcement Directorate on Friday in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to illegal assets of Iqbal Mirchi, underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s aide.

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Describing Mumbai as “city of opportunities”, Modi said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has provided a stable government in the state unlike the previous Congress-NCP regime, which saw chief ministers often getting replaced.

Modi said the Fadnavis government focused on the city’s growth, unlike the previous “corrupt” Congress-NCP governments. “There is not even a single stain of corruption on our government. We are trying to fulfill dreams of all, from farmers to those launching start-ups. Most of the services have gone online, reducing corruption,” Modi said.

The previous governments, Modi alleged, tried to fulfill dreams of the corrupt. “On the other hand, the Fadnavis government is fast-tracking Maharashtra’s development,” Modi said and also rued only 11 km-long metro services were provided by the Congress-led governments in 16 years till 2014.

He also said those who ruined India’s economy and banking system are in jail now. “The cleanliness campaign has begun just now. More work will follow,” he added. Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray also addressed the rally. Modi called him his “younger brother”.