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‘Gang of thieves’ targeting chowkidar, says PM Modi in all out attack on Congress

Addressing a public meeting in Baripada, Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said their secrets are tumbling out and that is why they want to remove the ‘chowkidar’.

Ravi Krishnaswami | Baripada, Odisha |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scathing attack on the Congress over the defence deals saying those who had conspired and compromised with national security stand exposed today and the law will take its course and investigating agencies will spare none.

Addressing a public meeting in Baripada, Odisha, he said their secrets are tumbling out and that is why they want to remove the ‘chowkidar’.

Gang of thieves often target the ‘chowkidar’ first, he remarked while asserting that he will continue to take bold decisions and stern action on matters relating to the armed forces and national security.

Surprisingly, the PM did not utter a single charge of corruption against the Naveen Patnaik government in the state which has pushed down the BJP leadership in Odisha. Contrary to expectations, he did not criticise the BJD government in the state as he did barely 12 days ago at Khurda where he accused the state government of rampant corruption and scams.

Focussed on attacking the Congress, the PM said the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had exposed the Congress in parliament on the Rafale issue.

They (Congress) are scared, they want to remove the chowkidar at any cost, he iterated while referring to the Augusta Westland chopper scam and the supposed revelations made by middleman Christian Michel.

It is clear that middlemen knew more about the movement of files and even cabinet committee on security meetings than perhaps even the then PM and the information was being provided to foreign companies, said the PM.

Taking a swipe at AICC president Rahul Gandhi, the PM said the president of the oldest party feels uncomfortable even when I raise the slogan Bharat Mata Ki Jai; he says it is divisive.

Criticising the newly installed Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, the PM said it does not have a majority, it is a hung government and its first priority was to take exception to Vande Mataram and the second to withdraw pension given to those who fought the emergency. The MP government was forced to backtrack on Vande Mataram and it will be forced to restore the pension, he added.

He highlighted the achievements of his government and asserted that each scheme was all-inclusive. The speed of development over the last four years is unmatched, he claimed.

PM Modi regretted that Odisha had lagged behind other states. The Odisha government is not serious about women empowerment and in almost two decades of rule the BJD government has not achieved the desired progress in education, health care, job creation, security of women etc, he charged.

Referring to the Pipili rape case of 2011 in which the arrested accused had been acquitted recently, the PM requested the state government to re-investigate the case.

He also urged upon the Odisha government to join the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Earlier on Saturday, the PM inaugurated and laid the foundation for a slew of projects totalling an investment of Rs 4,500 crore.

He unveiled a digital plaque to mark the commencement of work for conservation and development of Rasika Ray Temple and Excavated Structure at Ancient Fort Haripurgarh.

He laid the foundation stone for three National Highway projects.

He dedicated to the nation the Balasore-Haldia-Durgapur section of the Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline of IOCL and inaugurated the Multi-Modal Logistic Park at Balasore and six Passport Sewa Kendras.

The PM also flagged off the second passenger train from Tatanagar to Badampahar.

He said the centre is focusing on infrastructure development which will make a fundamental difference in the lives of the common man.

He said the Balasore-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline will ensure easy supply of LPG in parts of Odisha and West Bengal, saving transportation cost and time.

The PM said that the six Passport Sewa Kendras being inaugurated are a step in this direction. He described this as another effort towards “ease of living.”

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had skipped the official function but deputed the state steel minister Prafulla Mallick who was on the dais along with Odisha Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, Union Ministers Jual Oram, Dharmendra Pradhan, and MP RC Hansda.