Uttar Pradesh Elections 2017: Nationalism, Indo-Pak relations, Rajnath Singh's top agendas during campaign

"India doesn't provoke anyone. But if someone provokes India, then India won't spare either," said Rajnath Singh.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reached Gangoh, a town in western Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, on the campaign trail for the second phase of assembly elections and in a bid to woo the voters the senior leader went on to talk about two of the most sensitive topics one being Pakistan and the other being “national pride”.

Gangoh is considered to one of the communally sensitive constituencies in Western UP. BJP fielded Pradeep Chowdhary from Gangoh against Imran Masood’s brother Noman in the second phase of polls on February 15.

“Bharat Kisi ko chedta nahin. Koi Bharat ko chede toh Bharat use chodta nahin (India doesn’t provoke anyone. But if someone provokes India, then India doesn’t let that thing go),” said Rajnath Singh, on February 11, while addressing a crowd of people mostly comprising unemployed youth, the poor and farmers.

To induce the spirit of nationalism in the people, Rajnath narrated his story about his visit to Pakistan to attend the SAARC Summit. He said,” I was not eager to visit Pakistan to attend the SAARC Summit which was attended by representatives of many countries. I asked my Minister of state of go. But, two days prior to the Summit, my officials informed that chiefs of a terrorist organisation are rallying against me on the streets and they are saying that they won’t allow the Home Minister of India to enter borders of Pakistan. That very moment I decided to go Pakistan.”

Amid cheers from the crowd, he further said,”A soon as I reached Islamabad, the officers from Pakistan government and military were there to receive me. Instead of taking me to the hotel by road, as scheduled, he took me through a helicopter saying ‘sadak per haalat theek nahi hai’ (the situation is not conducive on the road). I also cooperated with then and decided to follow the arrangements they have decided for me. The helicopter landed half a kilometer away from the hotel. While heading towards the hotel, I saw crowd all over protesting against me enchanting Rajnath Singh wapas jao (Rajnath Singh go back). Jitne naare lagte jaate the, Rajnath Singh ka honsala utna buland ho raha tha (As the slogan-chanting increased, Rajnath Singh’s spirit was getting stronger).”

He also described how determined was he there and after another applaud, he continued,“Main Pakistan ki dharti ki chaati per khade hokar Pakistan ko benaqab karke hi wapas jaaonga. Kai deshon ke pratinidhi wahan maujood the aur unsab ke beech maine ye kaha Bharat ko thodne ki koshish bandh karo (Now, standing on its soil, I will leave only after exposing Pakistan. In the presence of representatives of many countries, I said, ‘Stop trying to break India’). Try to stop terrorism.”

“I refused to have food or water in Pakistan. I asked my secretary that I won’t eat here, call my aircraft, I will go back to India,” added Home Minister.

Meanwhile, Rajnath sensed the positive response from the public and stated another incident related to Pakistan. he said,”In September, I was watching TV at my home and saw a news reporting that Pakistan had killed five Indians, including one woman and an innocent child. I immediately called the DGMO (Director General of Military Operation) and asked about the entire episode. He told me that every bit of the news is correct. I further asked him about the response from the army to which he replied army waved white flags 16 times and tried to talk but they didn’t response.”

And then Rajnath said,” At that point of time I ordered,”Pehli goli Bharat ki taraf se nahin chalni chahiye, agar ek bhi goli Pakistan ki taraf se chalti hai to Bharat ki goli ko gina nahin jana chahiye (India should not fire first. But if Pakistan fires a bullet then we should retaliate without counting our bullets).”

Rajnath invited the candidates on stage and promised voters that after the election, their local MLA and MP will surely invite him to the same venues as he loves to meet people.

Rajnath asserted that if BJP came to power, the government would “buy grains at higher prices directly from farmers.”