Haryana got its first taste of Modi thunder this election round on Saturday when the Prime Minister came calling with an urgent message of political change in the state. “This election will design Haryana’s future. If you want me to serve you and bring in change here, I do not want any railway crossings (fatak) or speed breakers on the road from Delhi to Haryana,” he said, starting his campaign in the Congress-ruled state.
Modi was implying that for the Union government to take full part in Haryana’s development, he needs a BJP government in the state. In his 20-minute address, Modi referred to Geeta and the Mahabharta and to one of its central characters, ‘Danveer Karna’, emphasising the significance of Haryana in national culture and his choice of Karnal for starting the poll campaign.
“Whenever I come to Haryana, I feel as if I have come home, among my family members. This land has raised me, educated me and I learnt my first political lessons here,” Modi said, drawing a huge round of applause.
“I belong to you all. I need to pay back Haryana’s debt. Allow me to serve you. People whom you have already tried and tested all these years do not deserve any more chances,” he said.
Modi listed his government’s achievements in getting a road link opened to Kailash Mansarovar by convincing China, warming up ties with Japan and the recognition India recently got in the United States.
”Kailash Mansarovar was always there but only a few pilgrims used to go there, facing lots of hardship and death. The Congress governments could not do anything in this regard for 60 years. We managed to convince China and got a road link, which people can now use safely,” Modi said.
Slamming the Haryana government for alleged land scams, Modi said: “Is there any poor man here who has got a plot from Haryana government? Who took away hundreds of acres of farmers’ land? If you want to get back to such a government, you need to bring BJP in power with full majority.”
The PM ridiculed Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s “Haryana No. 1” slogan. Quoting figures, Modi said, “Haryana ranks 22nd in literacy, 18th in employment, and 20th in growth rate. Who is responsible for this? You know who.”
”The entire world is now looking up to India. Why are countries like China, Japan and US talking about India? Why has our nation’s respect and popularity increased globally? It is not because of me, it is because of you who gave a stable government in Delhi,” Modi said, repeating his recurrent theme of being the people’s mandate-holder.