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Shah says Naxalism will end in Chhattisgarh if BJP forms govt, targets Cong over 'religious conversion'

Jashpur/ Chandrapur: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said if the BJP comes to power in Chhattisgarh, Naxalism will be eliminated from the state in five years and alleged that rampant “religious conversion” took place there under the Congress rule.

Ahead of the second and last phase of the assembly elections in the state on November 17, Shah addressed three rallies – one each in Jashpur and Kunkuri constituencies in Jashpur district and Chandrapur constituency in Sakti district.

The Union minister slammed Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel-led dispensation saying while ‘Chandrayaan’ was sent to the moon under the central government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the point where it landed was named ‘Shivshakti’, the Congress government in the state indulged in betting in the name of ‘Mahadev’.

Further targeting the state Congress government, Shah said rampant religious conversion took place in Chhattisgarh in the last five years.

Shah appealed to the people to form a “double-engine” government (BJP at the Centre and in Chhattisgarh) and assured that Naxalism would be eliminated from the state in five years.

The rule of “corruption” prevailed in Chhattisgarh in the last five years, he said, claiming that the Baghel government indulged in several “scams worth thousands of crores of rupees”.

“Under the Modi-led government at the Centre, Chandrayaan was sent to the moon and Modi ji named the point as Shivshakti, expressing reverence to Lord Shiva. But the Congress government in Chhattisgarh, they opened a betting app in the name of Mahadev. They should be ashamed as they should have spared at least the name of Mahadev,” Shah said.

People are asking “satte (betting) pe satta (betting), kaun kar raha hai, Bhupesh kakka”, the senior BJP leader said. Baghel is popularily called ‘kaka’ (uncle) in the state.

Shah said if the BJP comes to power in the state, an enquiry commission will be set up and all those who have been indulged in corruption will be sent to jail.

Shah also said that rampant religious conversion took place during the tenure of the Congress government in Chhattisgarh. The BJP will not allow the conversion of ‘adivasis’ (tribals) without their consent, and will protect them, he added.

In another rally, Shah accused the Congress of making Surguja (division in northern Chhattisgarh) a den of religious conversion. “You will not have to get converted forcefully if BJP comes to power in the state,” he said.

The senior BJP leader also accused the Congress of keeping the issue of Ram Janmabhooomi in Ayodhya pending for decades after independence.

“The Congress was stalling, deviating and keeping pending the Ram Janmabhoomi issue for 70 years. Narendra Modi ji became the Prime Minister for the second time and he performed the Bhoomi Pujan of the Ram temple and now going to perform ‘pran pratistha’ (consecration) of grand Ram Lala Mandir on January 22 next year,” he said.

“Rahul Baba (Gandhi) used to ask us when we would tell the date (of Ram Mandir inauguration). Rahul ji, we have told you the date. I know you will not go for darshan (visiting Ram Mandir). But the people of Bagicha (Jashpur) will go,” he said.

Shah said the BJP has promised in its manifesto that if it comes to power in Chhattisgarh, those from BPL (Below Poverty Line) will be taken on a visit to the Ayodhya Ram temple in a phased manner.

Terming the Congress rule in Chhattisgarh a government of scams, he claimed CM Baghel committed a liquor scam worth Rs 2,000 crore, a coal scam of Rs 540 crore and a rice scam. He did not even spare the cow dung, said the Union minister.

“Bhupesh kakka named a betting app ‘Mahdev app’ and committed a scam of Rs 5,000 crore through it.. Bhupesh kakka takes tees taka (30 per cent commission) in every work,” he alleged.

“They have committed so many scams. Should they be caught or not? Those who have committed scams worth thousands of crores would be hung upside down and fixed,” he said.

Shah claimed the country was not safe when UPA was at the helm and asserted that surgical strikes were carried out after the BJP government was formed under the leadership of Modi.

“When Sonia-Manmohan government was at the Centre, Alia, Malia and Jamalia (referring to terrorists) used to enter from Pakistan. When the Modi ji-led government was formed, surgical strikes were carried out and terrorists were eliminated by entering Pakistan,” he said.

Some tribal areas in Chhattisgarh are still facing the menace of Naxalism, he said. “You should help form a double-engine government (BJP at the Center and in the state) and we will eliminate Naxalism in five years,” he added.

Shah claimed that the Congress has been washed away in the first phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly elections (held on Tuesday). “Based on the trend of the first phase, I have come to tell you that the BJP is going to form the government in the state,” he said.

He said the people of Chhattisgarh will celebrate Diwali thrice – first, on the day of the festival, second, when the BJP is elected to power on December 3 (vote counting day), and third, during ‘pran pratistha’ (consecration) at the Ayodhya Ram temple in January.

In his speeches, Shah also remembered senior party leader late Dilip Singh Judev and said the 15-year-long BJP government in the state functioned on the principles of “Judev ji”.

Judev, who was hailed by the right-wing for his ‘ghar-wapsi’ (homecoming) campaigns against the alleged conversion of tribals in northern Chhattisgarh, had served as the minister of state for environment and forests in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government at the Centre. BJP has fielded two Judev family members in the assembly elections this time.

While the first phase of elections in the Congress-ruled state got over on Tuesday, the second phase for the remaining 70 of the total 90 seats will take place on November 17. Jashpur, Kunkuri and Chandrapur seats will see voting in the second phase.

(Published 09 November 2023, 23:41 IST)

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