BJP, alliance partners want to build 'Nawan' Punjab, says Modi

09 Feb 2022 10:17 AM | General
157 Report

In his first rally for poll-bound Punjab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the upcoming Assembly elections are for taking the state out of uncertainty as he stressed that the BJP and its alliance partners want to build a new Punjab.

Addressing a virtual rally for Assembly segments of Ludhiana and Fatehgarh Sahib parliamentary constituencies, Modi said the BJP and its alliance partners in the NDA always stood with Sikh traditions.
Modi greeted people in Punjabi by saying "Sat Sri Akal" and "Waheguru ji da Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh".
He recalled sacrifices of Sahibzadas Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, sons of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.
Modi said the BJP and its allies are committed for the development of Punjab as he referred to 11 "sankalps" (commitments) recently brought out for the state.
He said it is only the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that has a vision of "Nawan" (new) Punjab and a track record of delivering on the ground.
Modi asked whether these elections are meant only for just forming a new government.
"Are these elections only for making a chief minister? Are these elections for electing new ministers and new MLAs? No. These elections are to speed up the state's development and bring Punjab out of the situation of uncertainty," he said.
"Punjab needs modernisation at every level, which is beyond the capability of the Congress and least of those who want to convert Delhi into jhuggi jhopdi' (slum)," he said in a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
In a scathing attack, Modi alleged that the Congress indulged in the massacre of Sikhs.
"But we got the guilty of genocide punished," said Modi.
"The Congress could not even keep Kartarpur in India. But we opened the way to Kartarpur," he said, adding that there were many such examples which reflect his government's true intentions and dedication for the honour of the Sikh Gurus.
Without naming AAP, Modi urged voters to be cautious of those "who made lofty speeches on the menace of drug addiction during last elections".
After the elections, they were gone, he said, adding "but instead of helping the people, they took the disease to Delhi".
The remarks appear to be in reference to the opening of more liquor shops in the national capital as being alleged by BJP leaders in Punjab.
"Those people have again reached here, are holding sweet talks and again demanding votes from you. Punjab has to be cautious of such people," said Modi.
"Today Punjab does not need hollow promises. It needs the intentions and honest attempts of the NDA and double engine government," he said.
He said for some people "Punjab has only been a tool for power".
To rule Punjab, they hatched many conspiracies and these people pushed Punjab, the land of Gurus, into the fire of terror, he said.
Modi said a border area development authority will be constituted to develop the areas near the frontiers and Rs 1 lakh crore will be spent on infrastructure in the state in next five years.
He also spoke about setting up a commission for helping victims of terrorism.
Modi said the supply of drugs, arms and ammunition coming from across the border will also be stopped.
History is witness that a strong Punjab has always lent strength to the nation, he added.
He also promised a drug-free state.
Taking on the Congress, Modi said, "During Covid times, you have seen how the Congress spent its energy on humiliating Capt Sahab (Amarinder Singh)."
"This work is not within capability of those who are not able to take care of Delhi," Modi said in an apparent reference to AAP.
In this scenario, if there is a strong alternative before Punjab, that is the BJP and the NDA, he said.
"We are building an India of the 21st century, an Atmanirbhar Bharat. Punjab is a very important part of this vision. The double engine will help give development a fillip here," he said.
Those people who want to destabilise Punjab, you have to be wary of those, the PM said.
He appealed to the youth to make the right decision.
"This time, I am addressing you virtually, but now that the Election Commission has allowed some relaxation, keeping that in view, I will be visiting Punjab in the coming days," he said.
At the beginning of his speech, Modi invoked the teachings of Sikh Gurus and sacrifices for the welfare and well-being of each and every Punjabi.
He said it was his good fortune that he and his government got a chance to honour the sacrifices of Sahibzadas as he was apparently referring to his government's decision of observing December 26 as "Veer Baal Diwas" as a tribute to the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh's four sons, who were executed by the Mughals.
The BJP is contesting the elections in alliance with Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt).
It was Modi's first address for the state polls as last month he had to return without addressing a rally in Punjab's Ferozepur following a security breach.

Courtesy: PTI