BJP national president Amit Shah addressed rallies in Odisha on Wednesday.
Bhubaneswar: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah slammed the Congress saying the party had tried to defame the country across the world by linking Hindus with terror.
"Can Rahul Gandhi protect the country? They can only defame the country across the world by raising the bogey of Hindu terror," Shah said on Wednesday while addressing a rally at Baramba in the Cuttack district.
Referring to 2008 Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, fielded by the BJP from Bhopal, Shah said, "After the Samjhauta Express blast, the Congress said Hindu terrorists were behind it. The sadhus were put in jail. Now, the BJP decided that Sadhvi should contest from Bhopal against Digvijaya Singh, the person who coined the term saffron terror."
Thakur, one of the accused in the blast case, is currently out on bail and joined the BJP recently.
Earlier addressing a rally at Dhenkanal, Shah said the BJP would end the "babu raj" in Odisha if it came to power in the state.
"Democracy has collapsed in Odisha. Under (Chief Minister) Naveen Babu, MPs and MLAs stand as servants, while the babus (bureaucrats) run the state," Shah said at an election rally in Dhenkanal. "Bring the BJP government in the state if you want to end this babu raj," he said.
Claiming that 35 per cent people in Odisha were yet to get safe drinking water despite Naveen Patnaik being in power for 20 years, the BJP chief promised to provide piped drinking water, pucca houses and elctricity to every household by 2022.
He also criticised the BJD government for not implementing the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. "The BJP government has launched Ayushman Bharat scheme to give 50 crore people free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh. But Naveen Babu did not implement the scheme due to the fear of Modi," said Shah.
The BJP chief also accused the BJD leaders of protecting scamsters who had looted the hard-earned money of the poor via the chit fund scam. The accused of chit fund scam and those involved in the mining scam would be jailed after the BJP forms the government in Odisha, said Shah.
Referring to recent attacks on BJP workers, he said, "I want to tell the BJD if they think they can intimidate us by attacking our workers, the BJP knows very well how to reply without resorting to violence."
"The Congress ruled Odisha for years. You have given 20 years to the BJD. Give the BJP just five years and we will make Odisha the number one state in the country with double-engine growth," said Shah.
The Dhenkanal and Cuttack Parliamentary seats will go to polls in the third phase on April 23. Elections for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats are being held in the state in four phases.