Bhubaneswar: Taking a dig at the efforts by some political parties to set up a Third Front, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Tuesday said in Odisha such a move has only one purpose – to save the Congress.
Addressing a public meeting in the state capital Bhubaneswar, the Gujarat chief minister said such fronts take birth just before the elections and their only aim is to help the Congress.
Noting that the eastern parts of India have not grown at par with western and central India, he said it happened only because states in the region have been ruled by the so-called Third Front parties.
“If we want to develop India’s eastern region, we need to teach a lesson to those who have been advocating a Third Front,” said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.
“Of the 11 parties which are clamouring for a Third Front, nine have supported the Congress always and when the elections come, they wear the mask of a Third Front,” he said.
“The only work of this Third Front is to save Congress. Whenever the Congress is in trouble, they appear. Unless we identify this Third Front, we cannot purify Indian politics,” said Modi, kick-starting the party’s campaign in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Castigating Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the issue of unemployment and migration, he said a large number of people from the state migrate to Gujarat for jobs as employment opportunities are not available at home. Patnaik is a member of the Third Front.
“It surprises me even more when I find most of the people belong to Ganjam. When I ask them where your district is, they tell me ‘it is the district of our chief minister’,” Modi said.
“What leaves me worried is that the people from the chief minister’s district in Odisha have to migrate for a job,” he said. “Who wants to leave his old parents, state, agriculture farm, and friends,” he asked.
Invoking the name of legendary leader Biju Patnaik, father of the present chief minister, Modi said: “You know who is pained the most on seeing Odisha’s destruction? It is Biju babu’s soul.” Appealing to the people to vote for BJP, he said: “It will be the right tribute to Biju babu.”
Describing the 2014 general elections as an election for “political purification”, he also slammed the Congress for price rise, inflation, and corruption.
“What did the Congress gave to the nation? Only one family has ruled. Do these leaders (Congress ones) from Delhi who come here ever speak about inflation, price rise? Do they feel the pain? Do they speak on corruption,” he asked.
A large number of party workers and leaders greeted Modi and gave him a rousing welcome when he landed at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here earlier in the day.
Supporters also greeted him with loud cheers, frenzied slogan-shouting and waving of BJP party flags when he started his speech, saying a few sentences in Odia, the state’s mother tongue, at the venue.
A large number of them were sporting saffron caps with “Vote for Modi” written on them.