Modi’s Anti-Rajiv Comments Spur More to Join Campaign

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QUAID NAJMI

MUMBAI (IANS) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s utterances on former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi seems to have spurred activists from different sectors to make a beeline to campaign against the BJP in the last two rounds of Lok Sabha elections.

Maharashtra Trade Unions Joint Action Committee (TUJAC) Convenor Vishwas Utagi said he will go to campaign in Delhi and some urban centres in Punjab to bring awareness among the people on various issues.

“It was the strong foundation laid by the late Rajiv Gandhi that the public sector and private sector flourished and the country could achieve an excellent GDP during the tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. We shall highlight these things to challenge Modi’s fake campaign and insult to a martyr like Rajiv,” Utagi told IANS.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) chief Raju Shetti will campaign in 8-10 constituencies in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, mainly in the farmer belts.

“I have been asked by those states’ farmers groups to campaign so that we can give a tough fight to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Along with some other leaders, we shall start canvassing in a few constituencies, and more if required, from May 10,” Shetti told IANS.

Formerly with the ruling NDA, the SSS is now part of the 56-party Mahagathbandhan in Maharashtra, led by the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party, with Shetti attempting his third consecutive term as MP from Hathkanangle in the state.

All India Kisan Sabha’s General Secretary Hannan Mollah just completed his grueling month-long campaign for the past five phases in different parts of India.

“The AIKS has deployed other national leaders for the remaining two phases in West Bengal and in farmer-dominated constituencies in other states,” Mollah told IANS.

Utagi and Shetti said the intention was to defeat the BJP and the ‘dictatorship’ of Modi.

Utagi added that the BJP campaign had become “shriller with attacks on martyrs” as Modi had sensed defeat and was desperately going all out to intimidate other political parties or their supporters, especially in West Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

A prominent force in farmlands and Vidarbha, Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) chief Kishore Tiwari, said the BJP had kept out “all important farmers leaders from the campaign which is restricted to just one individual”.

“There are demands from various farmers groups and activists affiliated to the BJP but these have been ignored. So, instead of farm leaders, its only Modi who is speaking for the peasantry,” rued Tiwari, who is Chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission, enjoying Ministerial status in Maharashtra.

According to him, “the BJP will pay dearly” for the manner in which it has betrayed and earned the wrath of the agriculture community all over India in past five years.

AIKS President Ashok Dhawale said his organisation had been “preparing for the 2019 elections since the past four years” and its struggle was not only election-oriented.

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