Kanpur train accident was a conspiracy from across the border: PM Modi at election rally
Narendra Modi was addressing an election rally in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda district. Photograph: (Reuters)
Invoking the Kanpur train accident as an example of the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the incident, in which 150 people were killed, was carried out by perpetrators "sitting across the border" in Nepal.
The prime minister was addressing an election rally in the state's Gonda district, which goes to polls on February 27.
“The Kanpur rail accident in which hundreds of people were killed was a conspiracy and conspirators carried it out sitting across the border… Gonda is adjoining Nepal,” he said referring to the arrest of alleged ISI agent and the prime suspect in the Kanpur train tragedy, Shamshul Hoda, by the Nepal Police on February 7.
"If the cross-border foes want to carry out their work, is it not necessary that more vigil is maintained in Gonda," Modi asked people as he exhorted them to vote for the BJP. "Gonda needs to elect only those who are full of patriotism, only then we can do anything good for Gonda," he said.
Hitting out at the SP over the poor law and order situation, Modi said police stations in the state had turned into offices of the ruling party. "No justice can be expected from these police stations as they are helpless as they await nod for action from SP bosses," he said.
The PM also asked people not to make a mistake in the election by voting for the BSP or the SP and instead vote for the BJP.
“There should not be any mistake in this election… be it the SP or the BSP, not a single seat should go to them…100 per cent seats should be won by the BJP,” the prime minister said.
Modi also criticised the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP for the poor education system, saying the "copying mafia" in the state was harming the youth with their "contracts" of colleges and schools during exams.
Calling the education system in Uttar Pradesh 'corrupt' and 'poor', Modi asked him "You went to Australia for higher studies. What about the students studying here?".
"When I was thinking about speaking on the issue, I must honestly admit I was slightly scared as this topic heard on television by people in other parts of the country could give ideas to anti social elements to replicate the 'Sapa (Samajwadi Party) ka karobaar," he said to applause.
The prime minister said the inclusive policies of the BJP such as the Jan Dhan Yojna and the Rupay card were empowering the poor by bringing them into the banking system. He also cited the example of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) on gas connections and said millions of women had benefited under the central government scheme.
"Till now 1.75 crore people have been given free gas connection and they have been saved from the hazardous smoke that choked their lungs," PM Modi said.
He also promised small farmers that he would waive off their loans and also give them cash under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in case their crops were damaged within 15 days of reaping.
Modi also took a dig at the Congress for their poor show in Maharashtra's civic body elections.
"The results in BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) polls are heartening for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Where on the other hand , the Congress party has been completely wiped out from Maharashtra," said Modi.
"People of our country have 'third eye' like Lord Shiva and can differentiate between good and bad," Modi said in context of the festival of Maha Shivaratri which is being celebrated across the country today.
Elections to the state are being held in seven phases. The results will be declared on March 11.
This is the second time that the BJP has brought in the issue of terrorism in Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier, BJP president Amit Shah had asked the people of Uttar Pradesh to get rid of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Ajmal Kasab, the Pakistani terrorist who was hanged after being convicted for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
"People of Uttar Pradesh get rid of ‘Kasab’ in this year’s election. I say this again, People of Uttar Pradesh get rid of ‘Kasab’ in this year’s election. Don’t take any other meaning of ‘Kasab’. By Kasab I mean, K for Congress party, S for Samajwadi Party and B for Bahujan Samaj Party. Unless you end Kasab, Uttar Pradesh will not develop,” Amit Shah said at an election rally on February 22.
(WION with inputs from PTI, ANI)