Anurag Thakur questions top Cong leaders' 'silence' on PM’s security breach

Lucknow, Jan 7 (PTI) Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday questioned the “silence” of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other top opposition leaders over the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Punjab visit. It says a lot about their intention and the people of the country want to know it, the Information and Broadcasting minister said while also lamenting "absurd" statements of the Punjab Congress leaders over the matter. Speaking at Doordarshan's two-day conclave on "Kitna Badla UP", Thakur also hailed the Yogi Adityanath government for "running bulldozers on properties of those who used to bulldoze people till yesterday" Promising that the BJP government will inaugurate the upcoming Ram temple in Ayodhya within two years, Thakur ruled out any impact of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi's outreach to women voters in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. "People are very wise and understand why Sonia Gandhi ji, Rahul Gandhi ji, Priyanka Gandhi ji and other important leaders of the opposition are silent. This is a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister of the country because of a state government,” Thakur said when asked about major opposition leaders remaining mum over the issue. “Is it a planned one? Was the government sleeping or the system was allowed to become defunct?” he asked. “The people have a right to know the reason behind the silence of all of them," he asserted. "The silence of the top leadership of the Congress says a lot on what was behind the security lapse of the Prime Minister, why was it allowed to happen and what was the intention behind it,” he said. "Strict action should be taken against whoever is behind it, this is the demand of the people of the country," said Thakur. "Security is the responsibility of the state where the PM is visiting and the leaders of that state (Punjab) have given absurd statements. This shows the mentality of the Congress, the minister said. Responding to a question on the issue of Hindutva being raised only during elections, Thakur said, "It is clear why, be it Rahul ji or Akhilesh ji or others, are remembering God before elections." "Till yesterday only, they had been talking about Jinnah and withdrew cases against those who carried out explosions in temples," he said. Reminded of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s claim that he will make the temple in only a year, Thakur scoffed at the claim and said, “Those who fired at Ram Bhaktas and gave a salary of Rs two to three lakhs to advocates to fight cases against Ram Bhakts and Ram temple are now claiming to build the temple.” "The SP government opened fire at Ram Bhakts in Ayodhya and kept Ram Lalla underneath tattered tents all along. It's the Modi and Yogi government which paved the way for the construction of a grand Ram Temple and laid not only its foundation stone but the foundation itself,” he said. Referring to the SP slogan “Mandhir wahin banayenge but tareekh nahin batayenge (Will make the temple there itself but will now say when) mocking the BJP’s intention on temple construction, Thakur said he wanted to remind the SP chief that the BJP government did not only lay the foundation stone but the very foundation of the temple which will be built within two years. Reminded of Yadav’s claim that he will make the temple in only a year, Thakur scoffed at the claim and said, “Those who fired at Ram Bhaktas and gave a salary of Rs two to three lakhs to advocates to fight the case against Ram Bhakts and Ram temple are now claiming to build the temple.” "We should all say with pride that we are Hindus,” he said. Doubting the efficacy of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s pre-poll outreach to Uttar Pradesh women, Thakur said, "Priyanka ji was there in 2014, 2017 and also in 2019. "Be it Indira ji, Sonia ji or Priyanka ji, they could never make toilets for the women, nor provided power or pucca houses. All this work had to be done by Modi ji and Yogi ji. What have they done for daughters?” asked Thakur. “If we have increased the marriage age of girls now, bringing it at par with boys, who are troubled the most?" he further questioned, adding that some SP leaders have revealed their mentality by commenting on the issue. “Women want security and respect. Those raising slogans for beti, (daughters) had their government for the past 70 years. What their family and the party did for them,” Thakur went on posing questions after questions, while also referring to his visit to Amethi 2011 where he said, he saw the “image of backwardness”. "They always had the pleasure and comfort of power (satta ka such) but never thought of serving people. They only put up plaques announcing the laying of foundation stones of various projects only to leave them incomplete for ever," Thakur said. He was responding to a poser on “backwardness” of Amethi and Rae Bareli despite the two Lok Sabha constituencies having even represented by members of the Gandhi family for all along. Emphasising the BJP government's policy of "inclusive growth" Thakur stressed that the benefits of the government schemes like Ujjwala and toilet schemes among others have been carried out without any discrimination on caste or community basis. The maximum benefit of these schemes has gone to those on whose names the Congress and other parties used to take votes for years but did nothing for them, he said. The minister also lamented on fingers allegedly being raised on the valour of the Army by opposition parties. "It is unfortunate that for politics, some people do not desist from using the country also for coming to power," he said. On the upcoming state assembly elections, Thakur said “UP wants the BJP again (UP phir se mange Bhajpa Sarkar) on the basis of achievements of the UP government. UP which gave the BJP 312 seats in 2017 to form its government in the coming assembly polls, will give many more seats to the party again, he claimed. Detailing the work and achievements of the BJP government which has been working simultaneously for saving its legacy (virasat) and furthering its growth, he said the Kashi Vishwanath Dham was redeveloped in five years. Claiming an all-round development of Uttar Pradesh under the Yogi government, especially on the law and order front, he said there was no trace of riots during the Yogi Adityanath government and those who used to create an atmosphere of terror are not visible today. PTI SAB SNS.