Making an emotional appeal in his constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged people of Varanasi to give him five more years and promised that while the last five years were for “hard work (purusarth) and change (badlav)”, the next five would be for “results (parinam) and India’s prestige (pratishtha)”.
Making a sharp attack at the Congress, he said unlike the previous governments “which only held dialogues after terror attacks”, his was a government which did not “tolerate” or holds dialogue with terror but acted against it.
Modi also sought assurance from the people of Varanasi to win the election for him. “I would leave after filing nominations tomorrow and would then come back to thank you after I win.”
Asserting that his commitment was “India First”, Modi said his government had given a response to terrorists “in their own language”, in a reference to the Indian Air Force (IAF) strike at Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
Establishing national security as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s main poll-plank, the Prime Minister said that along with development, “security is also crucial for a prosperous India”.
On the eve of filing his nomination papers from Varanasi, Modi said terrorists had frequently targeted “aastha” (faith) till 2014 by carrying out attacks at religious places like Sankat Mochan temple here and Akshardham temple in Gujarat, but the then Central government “only talked about holding talks” (with Pakistan).
“But our style is different. In similar circumstances, we told them that the new India does not just talk and tolerate, but we respond to terrorists in their own language,” he said about India’s retaliatory action in Balakot after JeM carried out the ghastly attack in Pulwama.
“Whether it is the Pulwama attack, Uri attack or any other issue, I have only one mantra with which I have lived — the country comes first, India First,” he said, addressing a gathering here after conducting a mega road show and performing “aarti” at Dashashwamedh Ghat this evening.
He said in the last five years there had been no attack on any place of worship including any temple and that terrorism was “now restricted to only a small part of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Talking about the February 14 terror attack on CRPF convoy in which 40 personnel were killed, the Prime Minister said that after that 42 terrorists had been eliminated till now. “The count could go up as we speak,” he added.
He also referred to the bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday and asked what was the fault of those who had gathered at churches to offer prayers and be at peace.