Pitching the Lok Sabha polls as an election for rooting out terrorism and giving a befitting reply to Pakistan, BJP president Amit Shah said Sunday said only a government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi can do it.
Addressing a "Vijay Sankalp" rally, his first after the Lok Sabha poll schedule was announced on March 10, he said the alliance led by opposition parties cannot secure the country and only a Modi-led BJP government can do so.
He accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of insulting the valour of armed forces by questioning the air strikes on a terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot.
"How low will you stoop for vote-bank politics? Don't play with national security for vote bank, Rahul Gandhi," he said. The Congress has been accusing the BJP of politicising the air strikes.
Shah also hit out at Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav and Congress leader Sam Pitroda for their controversial comments on the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent air strikes.
Targeting opposition leaders like BSP supremo Mayawati, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK president M K Stalin and TMC's Mamata Banerjee, he said they are "dreaming" to remove Modi but don't have the guts to fight the Lok Sabha polls.
Shah also spoke at length about welfare initiatives of the Modi government and said the general election is also about the development of 50 crore poor people.
He claimed that people have decided to discard caste politics and vote Modi to power with a mandate bigger than he had got in 2014 due to his politics of "sabka saath, sabka vikas".
Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 MPs to the 543-member Lok Sabha, is crucial to the BJP's bid to retain power at the Centre.
It had won 71 and its ally Apna Dal two seats in 2014, making up for a little over 25 per cent of the 282 seats the saffron party had won. It is faced with a formidable alliance of SP and BSP in the upcoming polls.
The BJP said it organised over 200 "Vijay Sankalp" (pledge for victory) rallies across the country on Sunday.
While Shah addressed a rally in Agra, other top party leaders, including Union minister Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman, addressed public meetings at different places.
The party said in a statement that Singh, Swaraj and Sitharaman spoke at Lucknow, Noida and Hyderabad respectively while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh addressed rallies in Saharanpur and Bhopal respectively.
Adityanath also spoke in Agra.
The BJP said it will hold over 250 such rallies on Tuesday.