Nasik: Sporting a headgear presented by a descendant of Shivaji Maharaj, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday went into election mode, going hammer and tongs at the Opposition.
To begin with, he took to task Shiv Sena leaders – without naming them, of course -- for their comments on the Ram Mandir issue, asking them to have respect for the legal process.
Tersely, he said: "I want to tell these ''bayan bahadurs aur badbole log' (loudmouths) to have some respect for the legal system and the courts".
Uddhav Thackeray, it will be recalled, has been urging the government to bypass the legal process and issue an executive order so that temple construction can begin.
The Sena has also alleged in the past that the BJP was pussyfooting on temple construction and was using it to drum up popular sentiment and grab votes during election. Thackeray had been one of the detractors.
PM, without naming anyone, described such loose talk as "anaap shaap" (rubbish). "I urge you and request you with folded hands not to make such immature and unnecessary statements... The matter is in the topmost court of country. Have faith and let them carry out the process as they deem best," he said.
Launching the BJP’s campaign for next month's Assembly elections in Maharashtra, PM Modi said the state has suffered due to political instability in the past and lauded Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for providing a "stable government" in the last five years, despite the BJP not having a complete majority on its own.
Giving his own example, PM Modi said people of Gujarat had given him an opportunity to be the longest-serving chief minister of that state. "The manner in which I served the state with commitment and devotion, Fadnavis is also doing the same. Like me, he too will benefit," Modi said.
"The land of Phule, Ambedkar, Shivaji did not see a stable government for consecutive five years previously," he pointed out. He said people of the state had made up their minds to "bless" those who are working to fulfil their dreams and expectations.
"The massive response to the ‘yatra’ by Fadnavis and the culmination at Nashik in midst of ‘loktantra ka kumbh’ gives a clear message about what people of the state are thinking," he said.
"Fadnavis has covered 4,000 km during his yatra and got blessings of crores of people. He has got the energy to serve the people better. I am taking some of that energy with me today," Modi said.