Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched his campaign for the Delhi elections with a speech loaded with promises of development for its residents and a warning that "anarchy will prevail" in the national capital if the Arvind Kejriwal government is brought back to power.
"Today, you do not risk facing bulldozers because of the centre's initiative for unauthorised colonies in Delhi. When a BJP government is formed in Delhi, steps will be taken to develop these colonies too. Vote to change Delhi because the BJP is solving India's issues and fixing old problems," he said at an election rally held in East Delhi's Karkardooma.
The Prime Minister was referring to a bill passed by the centre last month to grant ownership rights to the residents of 1,731 unauthorised residential colonies in the national capital. The move has been seen by many as politically significant because it benefits 40 to 50 lakh migrants who backed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in large numbers in the 2015 assembly elections.
The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at places like Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar featured in the address too. "Are the protests against the citizenship law a coincidence? It's no coincidence but a design. These people don't listen to courts, which have condemned vandalism, but they talk about the constitution. Commuters moving between Noida and Delhi are facing problems today, and another area may be blocked tomorrow. We can't leave Delhi in a state of anarchy," PM Modi said.
He also promised proper houses for every poor person in Delhi if the BJP is voted to power. "We have built two crore pucca houses for the poor already, and we are going to build another two crore people soon. I would like to tell you what's troubling me today. So much work has been done across the country, so many poor people have received new houses in other states, but the Delhi government does not want to do the same for the poor in this city," PM Modi said.
Addressing an audience of thousands, PM Modi warned that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party "will continue to stall welfare schemes" in the city if it is voted back to power. "But you have the power to stop that. You have the power to give victory to the BJP," he said.
He said that India will not be driven by the "politics of hate" being propagated by certain opposition parties but by the "politics of development", listing the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, the Supreme Court verdict in favour of a temple at Ayodhya, the Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh pilgrims and the Citizenship Amendment Act as some of the achievements of his government.
PM Modi also tried to appeal to the sentiments of migrant workers by accusing the Arvind Kejriwal government of blocking the launch of a bus service between Delhi and Bihar. "I heard Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's speech yesterday. He said that AAP is preventing the entry of Bihar buses into Delhi. What kind of prejudice is this against people from Bihar and Purvanchal?" he asked.