Modi backs Ramdev,asks if Lokpal Bill dear,why Congress stalling Uttarakhand’s

Modi accused Uttarakhand government of 'hounding' yoga guru Ramdev 'unnecessarily'

Written by Sanjay Singh | Dehradun | Updated: January 10, 2014 12:52 pm

Questioning Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s commitment to the Lokpal Bill,Narendra Modi said here on Sunday that if the Congress really wanted it,it should implement the Lokayukta Act brought in by the previous BJP government in Uttarakhand.

Modi was addressing his maiden rally in the state after being chosen the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate,and his first after the results for the recent Assembly elections were declared.

Addressing an impressive crowd at his ‘Shankhnad rally’ at Parade Ground in Dehradun,Modi did not name Rahul but left few in doubt about whom he meant. “You see a Congress leader held a press conference yesterday. He delivered his speech on Lokpal. Mahan updehsak ki tarah Lokpal Bill ke liye kah rahe the (Like a great preacher,he was advocating the Lokpal Bill). If he is concerned about corruption,why has his government failed to implement the Bill in Uttarakhand?” Modi asked.

The Congress vice-president addressed a press conference on Saturday seeking support of other parties to pass the Lokpal Bill in Parliament.

Modi added that Anna Hazare had appreciated the Uttarakhand Bill,which was passed by the state Assembly during the tenure of B C Khanduri. The Bill got presidential assent in September this year,but the new Congress government in Uttarakhand led by Vijay Bahuguna has not taken any step to implement it.

The Gujarat Chief Minister also accused the Uttarakhand government of “hounding” yoga guru Ramdev “unnecessarily”. If the Congress government spent even half of the energy it is “wasting” over investigating Ramdev on rehabilitating victims of the Uttarakhand floods in June,their fortunes would have turned around,he said.

“It is surprising that the Congress government in the state is lodging a new case against Ramdev every day,” Modi said,describing it virtually as political vendetta. “Did any of our chief ministers trouble the Congress in the state during their tenures?” he asked,pointing towards the BJP’s three former CMs in the state — B C Khanduri,Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank,who were present on the dais.

Around 95 cases of violation of land laws and stamp duty evasion have been lodged against Ramdev by the Bahuguna government.

Referring to the results of elections in five states,Modi said: “The winds of change are now visible all around. This is a good beginning for a Congress-free India.”

He urged the people not to “experiment” with new governments and claimed that lack of political stability had caused Uttarakhand and Jharkhand to lag behind Chhattisgarh,which had stuck to BJP rule for years. “Have faith in the BJP.”

Modi accused the state government of failing to carry out proper rehabilitation and reconstruction following the June floods,and failing to develop the state as a major tourist hub. He questioned the migration from the state’s hill parts and asked why it didn’t have a bigger rail network.

Recalling his visit to the state soon after the floods,Modi accused the Congress of playing politics at the time of the disaster. “I was deeply hurt realising that politics is so nisthur (ruthless)… I could not meet disaster-hit people in their hour of crisis. Rajnaitik nishthurata ne mujhe yehan se vida kar diya (I had to return due to political ruthlessness),” Modi said.

He added that he had received help from all people at the time of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake. “Uttarakhand had also extended its help to Gujarat at that time,” he said. Modi also talked about his “old association” with Uttarakhand,as in-charge of the state BJP, calling the state the country’s heart.

Underlining the need to focus on hydro-power projects in the state,the CM added that the state had potential to emerge as a tourist hub on the international map. Uttarakhand was “SEZ” for old times,Modi said. “This is Spiritual Environment Zone for all those people who seek peace. Terrorism divides,tourism unites. There is great scope for adventure tourism in the state. But is there any school for giving training in adventure tourism?”

Drawing a parallel with Mecca interestingly,he added: “Remember what Mecca was about 30 or 40 years back. Now it has become a place where the largest number of tourists collect at one place… 125 crore people of the country nourish the dream of visiting this sacred land (Uttarakhand) at least once in their lifetime for its religious significance.”

Targeting the good number of ex-armymen in the state and their families,he raised the fact that there are vacancies of officers in the Army,and added: “Can’t we set up schools to enable youth to join the Army as its officers?”.

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