PM hits the campaign trail post easing of Covid restrictions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit the campaign trail with his first major physical rally in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, after the Election Commission relaxed the Covid restrictions that had barred political parties from holding rallies and road shows. At the Saharanpur rally he said that electing a BJP government in Lucknow was key for the welfare of farmers, saying that the double-engine government has in the past five years ensured all-round development of Uttar Pradesh along with several benefits for the people. The Prime Minister said that the vote for a BJP government will ensure that small farmers keep on availing benefits of PM Kisan Yojana, and the poor get free ration. PM Modi said complimented voters for turning up in large numbers in the first phase of polling in the state on Thursday.

“Some constituencies in western UP are voting for the 1st phase. I’m glad that on such winter mornings, people are going to vote in huge numbers. I appreciate all these voters. The BJP UP’s ‘ghoshna patra’ is a resolution for welfare,” said Prime Minister.

He also apologised to the people of western Uttar Pradesh for not meeting them physically before the Assembly elections. “I am sorry that I couldn’t meet the voters in the constituencies which are polling in the first phase. I virtually met them, but I am with you here in Saharanpur today to start a campaign for the second phase,” said PM Modi.

PM Modi reiterated the BJP poll plank of a double-engine government. “It is important to ensure small farmers keep on availing benefits of PM Kisan Yojana. The poor are being provided with free ration during this pandemic without facing any problem, while the free vaccination drive against the Covid-19 was executed without hassles. Vaccines may have been sold in the market if there hadn’t been a BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. ‘Teen Talaq’ ban ensured justice for Muslim women,” he said. He exuded confidence that the people of Uttar Pradesh will vote for the BJP so that the state remains riot-free, and the women can live in the state without fear, while criminals are sent to jail. The PM also said the BJP government stands with Har Mazloom (victim of injustice). PM Modi said, “Our government stands with ‘Har Mazloom (every person who has faced injustice)’. Those people (Opposition parties) are trying to trick Muslim sisters to push them back in their lives.” He further said that the BJP government has freed the Muslim sisters and daughters from the menace of triple talaq. “Muslim sisters and daughters understand our clear intentions. We made them free of Triple Talaq, and gave them protection. When the BJP received support from the Muslim women, these vote-‘thekedaar (contractors)’ got restless, seeing that their daughters were chanting ‘Modi-Modi’… They’re trying to trick Muslim sisters again,” he added.

A report from Srinagar (Uttarakhand) said that PM Modi, while addressing the ‘Vijay Sankalp Sabha’ in Uttarakhand’s Srinagar city, lashed out at Congress for using late Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat’s name to gather votes. “The Congress party is using late CDS Gen Bipin Rawat’s name to gather votes. They did politics over his name after his appointment as the first CDS of the country. A leader of this party even called him ‘Sadak ka Gunda’,” the Prime Minister said.

Later, a report from Mapusa (Goa) said the PM on Thursday attacked Congress in poll-bound Goa and said Goa for BJP means “Governance, Opportunities and Aspirations”. The Prime Minister recalled that he was declared BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2013 at a party meeting in Goa. “From this land of Goa, phrases like ‘Congress-Mukt Bharat’ came out of my mouth in an unexpected manner.”

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