Shah blasts Cong over CAA ‘lies’, exhorts cadres for a long jump to Odisha power-seat

Tone and tenor of Shah's address very subtly indicated Odisha BJP's political strategy behind Shah’s rally today. For new President of Odisha BJP, this rally seemed to play the role of re-charger

Bhubaneswar: When politics is all about style and appeal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his first public address in Odisha post the 2019 elections, did show the elements of PM Modi – the big bow, the sample survey of crowd over stirring issues et al.

And the big take regarding the atmospherics of the Amit Shah rally has been that the State BJP has very smartly organised a three-in-one mass contact programme – a thanksgiving rally, a rally before the yet-to-be announced urban polls and CAA fact-check rally.

The poll overtones of the Shah rally came to the fore, when Union Home Minister Amit Shah kicked off his address by calling Odisha his second home. Though the rally was named a huge mass contact programme against CAA by the Odisha BJP, Shah was seen giving precedence to BJP’s growth story as a political party in Odisha more than CAA.

Significantly, the statement of BJP’s strategy-in-chief that only a jump is needed for BJP to occupy the power-seat of Odisha tells the whole tale about the Friday rally organised by Odisha BJP in the  capital city.

“Naveen babu polled 1.1 crore votes and BJP polled 91 lakh. In Assembly polls, of 37,000 booths, BJP took a lead in 14,000 and in another 9,500 booths the party is in second place,” Shah outlined.

Moreover, before upping his ante over ‘misinformation’ campaign by opposition parties over CAA, Shah virtually read the report card of Modi government.

Interestingly, the Modi 2.0 is yet to complete a year. And the statistics that Amit Shah reeled out in the rally has been the report card of Modi 1.0, which the BJP, including none other than PM Modi, had presented to the public in Odisha during 2019 elections.

Shah then emphasised on Modi 2.0’s ambitious scheme of providing piped drinking water to all houses by 2024. “Odisha vaseeyon ke liye yeh scheme bahut he laabhdayak hai, Kyon ki Odisha main 30 per cent people have no access to piped drinking water,” Shah highlighted.

The tone and tenor of Shah’s address, therefore, very subtly indicated Odisha BJP’s political strategy behind today’s Shah rally. The significance here is urban polls in Odisha are in the offing. And for new President of Odisha BJP, this rally seemed to act as re-charger prior to the civic polls.

As expected, Amit Shah didn’t launch any tirade against Naveen Patnaik and ruling BJD, especially as Naveen has been lending the requisite support to Modi government on some vital issues (CAA, Art 370, Triple Talaaq etc), despite not being in NDA.

And quite expectedly, BJP’s strategy-in-chief went hammer and tongs at the Congress party.

“During the decade-long Congress rule, the 13th Finance Commission provided only Rs 79,000 crore to Odisha. In last 5-years NDA rule, 14th  Finance Commission devolved funds totalling Rs 2.11 lakh crore to Odisha,” Shah claimed.

However, Shah’s last part of the speech revolved around CAA, albeit with a flavour of majestic Ram temple at Ayodhya and abrogation of Article 370 in J&K.

Linking the CAA to human rights of the minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, Shah vociferously attacked Congress party for its ‘misinformation’ campaign against CAA.

“The Act gives citizenship, does not take away. Minorities, especially, Muslims have nothing to fear,” reiterated Shah.

“I can say so on record. In 1950s, Congress stalwarts had promised to give citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs and minorities who fled from Pak, Bangladesh and Afghan. The party couldn’t fulfil its promise, Modi ji implemented the promise made by Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar patel and Jawaharlal Nehru,” Shah thundered.

Shah concluded his speech by putting a glare on Modi government’s target to attain $5 trillion economy by 2024. The picking up the issue, as per observers, is to counter the Congress’ all-round attack on Modi government over economic slowdown.

“Congress took 55 years to bring the country to 11th position, whereas BJP-led NDA in just 5-years catapulted the economy of the country to 5th position in the world,” Shah pointed out.