On the Telangana campaign trail, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in an exclusive chat with Network18, responded to the “panauti” remark by the Congress against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying people will give them a befitting reply.
“Whenever they have abused PM Modi…the public has given them an answer by voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” said Shah, expressing confidence that the BJP will fare well in the upcoming state polls, results for which will be announced on December 3. “I am confident that we will form a government in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and do extremely well in Telangana,” the BJP leader said.
The Congress hit out at Modi for being present at the Men’s Cricket World Cup final where India lost and called him “panauti”. The party took the same jibe even on social media handles, apart from the remark first made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. The Election Commission on Thursday issued a notice to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for calling PM Modi “panauti” (unlucky) and “jebkatra” (pickpocket). The poll body has asked Gandhi to reply to the notice by 6 pm on Saturday.
Shah told News18: “I have travelled extensively across Telangana and I have seen the mood of the people here who want parivartan.”
He also hit out at the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and Congress, who alleged that the BJP’s promise of an Other Backward Class (OBC) CM in Telangana was a sign of appeasement. “What appeasement are we talking about? Isn’t giving 4% reservation to Muslims appeasement? We will stand by our promise to give justice to the BC community. We will also give reservation to the Madiga under the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) quota,” Shah said.
Upon the BJP’s promises for turmeric farmers and sugar factory workers, the minister said that all promises will be fulfilled. “The Modi government has never done anything keeping the elections in mind. In fact, the steps are being taken to promote agriculture. We will also form a research centre that will help increase the production of turmeric and its export across the world. We are committed to restarting sugar factories,” he said.
With inputs from News18