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4-min read

Congress Insults Middle Class, Wants to Burden Taxpayers, Says PM Modi at Mumbai Rally

Claiming that all exit polls had predicted not more than 50 seats for the Congress and over 280 seats for the BJP, Modi urged people not to waste their votes on the grand old party.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:April 27, 2019, 8:09 AM IST
Congress Insults Middle Class, Wants to Burden Taxpayers, Says PM Modi at Mumbai Rally
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being garlanded during a rally in Mumbai on Friday. Also seen are Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. (PTI)

Mumbai: Making an emotional appeal to the country in the name of the middle-class and the police personnel’s sacrifice for the land, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hit all the right notes while launching a scathing attack on the entire opposition.

He targeted not just the Congress-NCP, but also Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

Appealing to Mumbaikars to vote for the BJP, he said, “I have come to thank Mumbai and its fisherfolk community that keeps us safe.”

Expressing his gratitude to Mumbai’s dabbawalas, taxi drivers and sewage cleaners, he praised the middle-class for its contribution towards nation-building, while claiming that the Congress insulted this very section of people.

"I bow down to the middle class and very proud of them. The Congress says the middle class is very self-centred, selfish and greedy. The party’s manifesto doesn’t have a single thing about the middle class. How does it want to run the country? It wants to burden the middle class with more taxes,” he said.

He was speaking at a joint rally of the BJP-Shiv Sena and Republican Party of India (RPI) in the Mumbai's BKC area. Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were also present on the dais.

“This election isn't just about electing a government, but for choosing the direction of the country’s growth. This is the election of resolve and not the election of promises. The atmosphere in the country today has troubled a few people. They don’t understand why the first-time voter is standing with Modi. They don’t understand a small thing that the 21st Century voter is standing for his/her aspirations and dreams. Modi is only an expression of these dreams," he said.

Claiming that all exit polls had predicted not more than 50 seats for the Congress and over 280 seats for the BJP, Modi urged the gathering to not waste its votes on the grand old party.

"Whichever survey you see, they are unanimous about the 2019 election results that the BJP will form a government with complete majority. That the saffron party will win the maximum number of seats. The only question is whether the BJP will break its own record of 282 or will stick to that score. ‘Mahayuti’ (NDA) will get the maximum number of seats. This is what all the surveys say. (The question is) whether the NDA will get 300 or 325 or will cross 400 seats,” he said.

Further, training his guns on the Congress, Modi said, “The Congress is the second name of confusion today. The country’s oldest party about which Mahatma Gandhi had said that the party should be dissolved, is staring at 44-50 seats. This is the buzz. This is the reality of the Congress' situation in Maharashtra. Mumbai is smart. It knows which way the wind is blowing… Whether to vote for a party which won’t cross 50, or to vote for a party which will utilise each of your votes."

“The speciality of the 2019 election will be that the Congress is contesting from the minimum number of seats,” he added.

“The next five years are very crucial for India as the world’s top leaders have predicted that the coming five years are full of opportunities for the country,” Modi said.

Claiming that his government had implemented some of the most ambitious schemes, he said, “The beneficiaries of Ayushyaman Bharat are more than the total population of the US, Canada, Mexico. Infrastructure is also being build at double the speed.”

“Price rise has been curtailed in our times. Medical bills have also come down. Our government has ensured cheapest data in the world… Digital India… Mumbai has witnessed many firsts because of us. The nation’s first bullet train will also start from the city.”

Stating that the BJP government had dealt with terrorism sternly, he said the Congress had completely failed on that count.

“What did the Congress do when Mumbai was attacked in the past? Our jawans and police put their lives at stake to save Mumbai. There should be a national memorial in their honour.”

In praise of the police personnel, he said, “Policemen are being treated as a punching bag. As many as 33,000 police personnel have sacrificed their lives while in the line of duty. The Congress never sought their protection. Then, this ‘chowkidar' (watchman)’s government came to power. We built a grand memorial for them.”

Calling himself a ‘mawla’ (soldier) of Chhatrapati Shivaji, he said that under his government, terrorism would be wiped out.

“Ask how Lok Sabha elections and IPL are happening simultaneously. Why were you scared? Lok Sabha polls are on… And you ask me what I have done… The country runs like this. Today, the terrorists know that if they do something, we will find them out and hit them back.”

This was the first joint rally involving top leaders of the Sena and BJP in Mumbai since 2014.

This included all the six candidates of the alliance in the city — Arvind Sawant, Gajanan Kirtikar, Rahul Shewale, Gopal Shetty, Poonam Mahajan and Manoj Kotak.

RPI(A) leader Ramdas Athawale was also present on dais. Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Suresh Prabhu were accompanied by state ministers like Diwakar Raote and Vinod Tawde.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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