Amid the raging anti-CAA protest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday chose to start his speech with an unusual chant, “Vividhta me ekta, Bharat ke visheshta” (Unity in diversity is India’s specialty).
Though the focus of the rally was the upcoming Delhi Assembly election where the BJP’s state unit drummed up the fact that the Centre regularised illegal colonies that benefitted thousands, Modi chose it to be the platform to answer the raging opposition against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
“Citizenship Act doesn’t apply to any Indians – be it Hindu or Muslim. It applies to the refugees from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan,” he said. Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, Modi made his point but not without taking a sharp dig at the Gandhi family.
On Sunday, Modi was at his aggressive best when he referred to certain opposition parties as “remote control” behind the current anti-CAA agitation. “There’s no discussion on NRC… Some educated urban naxals are spreading this rumour that all Muslims will be sent to detention centres. ‘Ye jhhut hai, ye jhhut hai, ye jhhut hai’ (These are lies),” he said.
On Sunday, Modi spared no one. Not just the Congress he also took a dig at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as well. Referring to the controversial demand of the Trinamool chief for a UN-monitored referendum on the issue, Modi said she had a different position on the subject a few years ago. “Didi, what made you change your mind?” asked Modi.
Amid fluttering BJP flags, the beating of drums and excited attendees, Modi was the unmistakable crowd puller. Many of the BJP supporters were seen dancing to tunes that were dedicated to Prime Minister.
Needless to say, BJP put its best bet forward and hopes to use his image to win the Delhi election, where it was decimated by AAP in the last polls.
Though Modi’s focus largely remained the opposition parties and their alleged flip flops on the Citizenship Amendment Act, Modi had done one thing that most in the BJP failed to: Unite the entire Delhi BJP unit.