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'We See Revolution in Development': Amit Shah Asks Rahul Gandhi to Explain Raj Babbar's Naxalism Remark

Uttar Pradesh Congress president Raj Babbar had said Naxals had launched a 'revolution' which cannot be stopped through guns, and the menace should be resolved through talks.

PTI

Updated:November 4, 2018, 11:26 PM IST
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Raipur: Latching on to the remark of Congress leader Raj Babbar on the Naxal movement in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, BJP chief Amit Shah Sunday asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to make clear his party's stand on Naxalism.

Shah also claimed that Babbar had described Naxalism as a "revolution". Addressing a public meeting in Ambagarh Chowki town in Rajnandgaon district, Shah said, "A Congress leader yesterday described Naxalism as a revolution and said that Maoists were engaged in revolution, I want to ask the Congress chief to make his stand clear on Naxalism. Your leader called it a revolution. What is your stand?"

Shah was referring to the remarks made by Uttar Pradesh Congress president Raj Babbar during a press conference held in Raipur Saturday, when he had said Naxals had launched a "revolution" which cannot be stopped through guns, and the menace should be resolved through talks.

When Babbar was asked whether he was suggesting Naxals were revolutionaries, he had said, "I want to clarify that I said the issue can be solved through talks with those who call themselves revolutionaries by indulging in acts of terrorism."

On Sunday, the BJP chief campaigned in Khujji Assembly constituency, which will go to polls in the first phase on November 12. Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Hirendra Sahu from Khujji seat. "Revolution does not come through Naxalism. Revolution does not come by indulging in the act of violence and by bullets or bombs (but) revolution takes place when cattle were distributed to poor women to bring white revolution and milk revolution," Shah said.

He hailed Raman Singh, who is seeking a fourth straight term as chief minister, for "bringing revolution" in the state through welfare measures. "When our 'chawal wale baba' (as the CM is popularly known) provides rice at Rs 2 per kg to the poor people then it is a revolution...When farmers sweat in their farms and get a good return on their produce, then it is revolution," he said.

Playing on Babbar's remarks, Shah said Rahul Gandhi didn't understand revolution. "You (Gandhi) don't know what is revolution. I want to tell people that the Congress considers Naxalism revolution, but the BJP sees revolution in development," said the BJP chief.

"Rahul baba Chhattisgarh was under the grip of Naxalism during your time (when the Congress government was in power from 2000 to 2003). Putting his life at stake, Raman Singh has destroyed the Naxalites and flushed them out from the state (during the last 15 years of the BJP rule)," he said.

Taking a dig at the Congress chief, Shah said Gandhi considers Chhattisgarh a "tourist spot" where he comes for a picnic. "Sometimes I see Rahul baba here. Chhattisgarh is not more than a tourist place for him. He comes here for a picnic. Rahul baba used to say 'Made in Chhattisgarh' should take place here.

"Rahul your government was in power (at Centre) for 55 years. Your government ruled right from panchayat to parliament for 55 years, but what development took place in Chhattisgarh," he asked.

Shah said development was ushered in by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Today, handicraft items made by tribal women are being sold at airports through the initiative of the prime minister," he said.

Shah said Chhattisgarh has become a power-surplus state under Raman Singh and supplying electricity to other states. "Chhattisgarh is among top states in cement and aluminium production," he said.

When Ajit Jogi, first chief minister of Congress in Chhattisgarh from 2000-2003, was in power, the budget of the state stood at Rs 9,000 crore, which has increased to Rs 83,180 crore under the BJP government, which is in power in the state since 2003, he said. "No state in the country has witnessed a 10-fold rise in its budget, but the Chhattisgarh BJP government has done this during the last 15 years," he added.

Shah is scheduled to address two more rallies in Khairagarh and Kondagaon assembly constituencies Sunday. Eighteen of the total 90 assembly constituencies in eight Naxal-affected districts in Chhattisgarh will go to polls on November 12 and rest in the second phase on November 20.
Counting of votes will be held on December 11.

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