On Wednesday, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and MP Anurag Thakur’s speeches in Amreli proved that the BJP is falling back on Hindutva and nationalism as its trump cards for the upcoming Gujarat election. Vikas is no longer the buzzword of the BJP.
Thakur’s address raked up issues such as the construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the killing of ‘the Afzals of Kashmir’ and even ‘anti-nationalism’ in JNU.
And reminding his audience that it was 6 December, Adityanath boasted about how Hindus had displayed their might exactly 25 years ago. He was referring to the demolition of the Babri Masjid by Hindu Kar Sevaks.
All this in a rally in the heart of Gujarat, with only a couple of days left before the first phase of voting.
And if that wasn’t enough drama for an election rally, a man disrupted Yogi Adityanath’s speech by repeatedly shouting “Jai Bhim!” and even throwing a bar of soap in the direction of the UP CM. Read on to find out all that transpired in possibly the most eventful rally of this campaign trail.
‘Mandir Wahi Banayenge'
The business end of the rally began with the arrival of Yogi Adityanath and Anurag Thakur. As the two leaders entered the venue, the song ‘Mandir wahi banayenge’ blared from the loudspeakers. It gave a sign of what was to follow – the Hindutva card was going to be neither hidden nor veiled.
Anurag Thakur spoke first, and spoke fiercely. “What date is it today? 6 December. Do you remember 6 December?”
The gathering of BJP supporters shouted back, “Yes!”
Thakur egged them on, “The wait has gone on too long. 25 years have passed. Should the wait end?”
The crowd cheered, “Haan!”
“What should be made?”
“Ram Mandir”, they bellowed.
“Kya?”, Thakur asked yet again.
The crowd got louder. “Ram Mandir” they chanted back.
Thakur was ready for the final punch. “Your wait will end, your dreams will be fulfilled, but Rahul Gandhi does not want it to happen. Even our Muslim brothers are coming forward to say that a temple should be built at the birthplace of Ram, but Rahul Gandhi...”
As Thakur trails off, some in the gathering shout, “Pappu!”
Thakur latches on, “You can call him that but I cannot give him so much respect.” The supporters laugh.
Read the full story here
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bharadwaj