Paralakhemundi (Odisha): BJP president Amit Shah on Monday lashed out at the Congress, accusing the grand old party of trying to "defame" Hindus by giving them a terror tag.
"Rahul (Gandhi) Baba's party attempted to link the Hindu community with terrorism. It was a bid to defame Hindus across the world," Shah said, addressing a rally in Paralakhemundi under the Berhampur Lok Sabha constituency, which will go to polls in the first phase on April 11.
Hitting out at the Congress, the BJP chief said all the accused, including Swami Aseemanand, were recently acquitted in the Samjhauta Express blast case.
"Unfortunately, the then Congress government compromised with national security by allowing the real culprits in the case to go scot-free. These people have no concern for national security," Shah said.
On the Balakot air strike, Shah said only the BJP-led central government could have taken such a decisive action.
"Effective air strike was carried out and terror camps inside Pakistan were destroyed. Such decisive action can only be taken by a BJP government," he said.
Opposition parties, Shah alleged, are speaking the language of Pakistan, which gives "strength to terrorists".
The BJP chief said even as Pakistan was gearing up by keeping its weapons and soldiers near the border, India gave a befitting reply, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being at the helm, and not "mouni baba" (silent monk) Manmohan Singh (former PM).
Describing Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda as Rahul Gandhi's "guru", Shah said Pitroda suggested for talks with Pakistan and terrorists.
"Pitrodaji, this (talks) may be the policy of your party. But, our policy is to fire — 'atankwadi goli chalayenge to hum gola chalake jawab denge' — if terrorists fire bullets, we retaliate by using bombs. None other than Modi can ensure so much importance to the national security," he added.
Shah also called upon people to oust the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha to ensure a corruption-free administration.
He alleged that corruption is rampant under the BJD rule in the state, which needs a "young chief minister" for speedy development.
"The BJD govt adopted a step-motherly approach towards west and central Odisha, for which these parts remained backward. People of the state need to overthrow the current dispensation and ensure a second term for Narendra Modi as PM," he said.
The BJP president also accused Chief Minister Patnaik of failing to learn Odia in 19 years.
"People must choose an Odia-speaking CM this time," he said.
The assembly and the Lok Sabha polls in the state will be held simultaneously in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29. The BJP has set a target of winning at least 120 of the 147 assembly seats in Odisha.