There is no 'lehar', only 'zehar' in PM's language: Jairam Ramesh

04:43 PM May 14, 2024 | PTI |

Bhubaneswar: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday claimed that there is no ‘lehar’ (wave) in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi but only ‘zehar’ (poison) in his language.


Addressing a press conference here, Jairam said that the language of the ”outgoing” prime minister indicates he is ”tensed and confused”.

”He (PM) has realised that farmers, youth, labourers, women and backward classes are upset with him. That’s why he talks about Hindu-Muslim, Muslim League, black money given to Congress in tempos and ‘mangalsutra’.

”There is no ‘lehar’ (wave) on the ground in favour of the PM but only ‘zehar’ (poison) in his language. This indicates that time has arrived for a change,” Ramesh claimed.

In the past four phases of elections held in 379 Lok Sabha seats, it was clear that BJP became ‘saaf’ (finish) in south India and ‘half’ in north, west and east, he said, adding that INDIA bloc will get a majority in this election.


The Congress is fighting this election to save the Constitution and democracy as ‘dhantantra’ (capitalism) is prevailing in the country, he said.

Stating that BJD and BJP are two sides of the same coin, the senior Congress leader alleged they are engaged in a ”fake fight” in the ongoing Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Odisha.

”The prime minister and the chief minister are indulged in a ‘fake boxing’ match. However, the reality is that the BJD had given full support to the BJP in Parliament during the last 10 years,” he alleged.

The BJD MPs supported ”anti-farmer, anti-tribal and anti-environment” Bills in both houses of Parliament and even the ruling party in Odisha elected BJP nominee Ashwini Vaishnaw in Rajya Sabha polls, he said.

Hitting out at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, he said, ”Did you not extend 100 per cent support to the BJP in Delhi? Is it not true that the BJD supported the weakening of the Forest Rights Act, amendment in the Forest Conservation Act, Land Acquisition Act, and the Labour Code?” ”There is no difference between the BJP and BJD. Congress is the only alternative in Odisha that is fighting against the BJP-BJD ‘alliance’. Voting for BJP is like voting for BJD and vice-versa,” Ramesh alleged.

The Congress leader alleged that not a single penny has been spent on the development of Odia during the Modi rule, while Rs 650 crore has been allocated for Sanskrit, whereas the Manmohan Singh government had given classical language status to six languages including Odia.

Advocating for a caste-based census, Ramesh said the exercise is necessary to give proper reservation to the SC, ST and backward communities. He asked Patnaik to clarify whether he was in support of it.

Asserting that the Congress is in favour of extending the 50 per cent cap on reservations, Ramesh asked the CM to clarify his stand on the issue.

”Why have you (Patnaik) not fully implemented the Forest Rights Act and Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Rules in Odisha?” the former Union minister questioned.


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