Sasaram/Gaya (Bihar)/Gumla/Chatra (Jharkhand): BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi yesterday urged the Maoists to shun violence and took potshots at the federal and Bihar governments for being soft on terrorism.
“This land of Buddha has blood. The same land that gave message of peace to the world has blood. There should be no terrorism and terrorists must be punished, but can those sitting in Delhi and Patna do this,” Modi said in Bihar’s Gaya, recalling the blasts in Bodh Gaya.
Bodh Gaya in Gaya district is an important pilgrimage for Buddhists. A series of ten explosions occurred in and around the Mahabodhi Temple and five persons including monks were injured. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader lambasted the Nitish Kumar government for not doing enough to combat terror attacks. The Janata Dal-United, a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, broke ties with the BJP last June after it nominated Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
“Tourism provides opportunities to the poorest of the poor. After the terror attack in Bodh Gaya last year, the number of tourists has dropped,” he added.
Modi, who addressed four public meetings on his second day of “Bharat Vijay Rally” in Gaya and Sasaram of Bihar, and Chatra and Gumla of Jharkhand, also asked the youth in the four Maoist-hit districts to take up education instead of guns.
“Don’t arm the gullible youth with guns,” said Modi, also the Gujarat chief minister, in Gumla, nearly 100km from state capital Ranchi.
“Instead, pick up the ploughs and distribute them among youngsters for you need to feed scores of people who sleep hungry in this country. Also ensure the youth picks up the pen as only education can lead to progress and development in the villages,” he said.
The rallies came on a day when a ‘Bandh’ (shutdown) was called by the Maoists to boycott elections. In Gaya, two cell phone towers were blown up by Maoists early yesterday.
Modi later tweeted that the crowd at the rallies showed the victory of democracy over guns.
“Despite Maoists giving a call not to come to the rally, there was record attendance! It shows the victory of democracy over
the gun.” IANS