Modi Debunks Oppn Claim, Affirms Commitment to Constitution

New Delhi/Patna: Debunking the Opposition's charge that the BJP has plans to scrap the Constitution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted that he felt "indebted to Baba Saheb Ambedkar's samvidhan", which enabled him to rise from humble origins to the top office. Addressing two election rallies in Bihar's Gaya and Purnea, Mr. Modi attacked the RJD for “jungle raj” in the state and the Congress over Emergency and “suspending constitutional provisions”.

Addressing the election rallies, the Prime Minister spoke extensively of the high esteem in which he holds the Constitution, mentioning his government's measures like "celebrating Samvidhan Diwas, from schools to the Supreme Court and Parliament".

The Prime Minister said: "This year is special. We are going to celebrate 75 years of the Constitution on a scale similar to the Amrit Kaal celebrations, which marked 75 years of Independence. Our intent is to reach out to every nook and cranny of the country where youngsters will be told how our glorious Constitution was drafted and what its significance is.”

"People ask me why I care so much for the poor, the Dalits. I do so because I have risen from among them. I therefore feel indebted to the social class. I also feel indebted to the Constitution framed by Babasaheb Ambedkar, which helped me reach where I am," the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Modi's comment came a day after RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav, the BJP's principal opponent in Bihar, raked up utterances made by a number of the BJP leaders who have said that the "Constitution will be changed if we get a two-thirds majority in Parliament".

The Prime Minister, who has been equating the Constitution with sacred books like the Ramayana, Bible, and Koran, pointed out that it was under the rule of the Congress, the RJD's ally, that the “Emergency” was imposed and several constitutional provisions were suspended.

"Our opponents are those who had held the Constitution hostage and tried to tamper with it during the Emergency. Those who want power to remain confined within the hands of a family always treat the Constitution as an eyesore. This is the reason why they have even begun to threaten that they will not accept the outcomes of polls held under the provisions of the Constitution. We must remain united to foil their attempts," he said.

Calling the abrogation of Article 370 a "big achievement" of the NDA government, Mr Modi said, "Those who cry hoarse about the Constitution never dared to implement it in Jammu and Kashmir. When we bit the bullet and abrogated Article 370, they threatened that the entire region would be on fire."

At the rallies, Mr Modi also pulled no punches in attacking the RJD. He mentioned the party by name and accused it of having ushered in "jungle raj and corruption" while in power in Bihar. He also claimed credit for all the good work done by the NDA government headed by JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar.

Mr. Modi stressed that "the NDA brought Bihar out of the era of jungle raj" and warned that a crackdown on corruption will continue in the next five years, apparently referring to the name of Mr. Prasad and his family members, including his son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, figuring in scams being investigated by the Central agencies.

In Purnea, he spoke of "ambitious schemes" launched by his government for the development of the district, in particular, and the Seemanchal region in general, drawing a contrast with governments of the past that washed their hands off by "seeing the backwardness of the area as irreversible".

Mr. Modi also came down heavily on "vote bank politics, which has allowed infiltration to flourish in Seemanchal", claiming "this has been to the detriment of the poor, the Dalits of the region, many of whom have suffered attacks and even their houses have been set on fire".

"The fate of this region hinges on the poll outcome of June 4," he said, adding, "Those who oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 should know Modi is not someone who can be stopped or cowed down."

"Today everybody is saying that it is only the NDA government at the Centre that is capable of big achievements,” Mr. Modi said, holding out the examples of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, the abrogation of Article 370, and military operations in response to cross-border terrorism.

In his address at Gaya, the Prime Minister also spoke of the pilgrim town's fame and underscored his government's efforts to preserve the country's cultural heritage. "Our fight is against those who have no respect for our culture," he said.

At the Gaya rally, the Prime Minister interjected and took the mic while the names of others present on the occasion were being announced. He said, "I may please be excused for breaking the protocol. It is going to be a hectic day when I am scheduled to address five rallies and have to visit Assam."

The Prime Minister had to repeatedly ask euphoric crowds at both Gaya and Purnea rallies to stop chants of "Modi, Modi" while he was speaking. He said, "Save this enthusiasm for the polling date. It will be needed a lot."

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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