Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed an election rally in Uttar Pradesh's Bhadohi district and launched another attack on the SP-BSP alliance. The political tension in the state has been turned up several notches in recent days with the prime minister's latest attack coming after his "Bhrastachari number 1 (corrupt number 1)" comment about assassinated former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. PM Modi has been criticised by the opposition for his remark.
Speaking in a district of the state with a sizeable Muslim population, the Prime Minister said his government cares for the country and its minority religions and accused other parties, political ideologies and governments as corrupt or insensitive to religious and economic woes.
He said, "After Independence, there have been four types of governance, parties and political culture -- ''naampanthi'' (dynastic) ''vaampanthi'' (Left), ''daam aur damanpathi'' (relying on money and muscle) and the fourth one that has been brought by us, the ''vikaspanthi'' (development)".
PM Modi expanded on his anti-corruption theme by attacking the Congress-led UPA government,
"During their 10-year rule, they eroded the country's goodwill.... There were scams worth crores of rupees...the discussion was only confined to corruption, intermediaries, dishonesty and nepotism. But this ''chowkidar'' (watchman) of yours has put an end to all this," he said.
However, the Prime Minister's claims of leading a government free of corruption have come under fire during this election season, with the Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi leading the way.
The party president's "Chowkidaar chor hai" slogan, which has caught on across the opposition, is a direct attack on the BJP leader's claims of his government being corruption-free.
The prime minister also sought to assure the state's Muslim women that his party would try to push through the triple talaq bill which, he claimed, was being held up by the Congress.
He addressed "Muslim beheno (sisters)" at the rally, promising them that he would pass the triple talaq bill, which he claimed the Congress was stalling.
The Prime Minister said: "We also want to give Muslim sisters the same rights as in other countries".
"We do not disrespect religious sentiments of anyone, we act according to the constitution which ensures equal rights for all," added PM Modi, whose party has fielded Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal, Pragya Thakur was handed a 72-hour campaign ban from the Election Commission for her remark that she is "proud" of participating in the razing of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.
The PM also took aim at the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance in the state, created to beat the BJP in the election.
"What shall I say about the 'mahamilawati' parties that do not want to acknowledge India's growing strength in the international arena?" PM Modi said in an apparent reference to the listing of Pakistan-based Masood Azhar as an international terrorist, an act he claimed for his own government.
Bhadohi votes on May 12 during the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, with election results to be declared on May 23.